massimo vignelli interview
designboom interviewed massimo vignelli on may 21st, 2006.



what is the best moment of the day?

when I go to bed with a feeling of some accomplishment.



what kind of music do you listen to at the moment?

baroque, most of the time.



massimo vignelli interview

united colors of benetton identity by vignelli associates, 1995




do you listen to the radio?

all day long, a classical station, or my iPod.



what books do you have on your bedside table?

any book that I started on an airplane.



massimo vignelli interview

transportation graphics for new york subwayby vignelli associates, 1972



do you read design magazines?

yes many, abitare, domus, architectural record, A+U, eye, and more.



where do you get news from?

TV and new york times.



massimo vignelli interview

american airlines identity and branding by vignelli associates, 1967



do you notice how women are dressing?

absolutely. it tells me everything about the person.



what kind of clothes do you avoid wearing?

anything trendy, fancy…



massimo vignelli interview

bicentennial poster USA by vignelli associates, 1976




do you have any pets?

no. I would love to, but I travel too much.



when you were a child, did you want to become a designer / architect?

since I was 14 years old I had no other desire.



massimo vignelli interview

heller packaging program by vignelli associates, 1968



where do you work on your designs and projects?

at my desk, no matter where it happens to be.



who would you like to design something for?

to do the vatican corporate identity program, I would keep the symbol but change everything else…



massimo vignelli interview

knoll international poster by vignelli associates, 1966



which project has given you the most satisfaction?

national parks service graphic program or any other one of great impact, that we have done trough the years.



do you discuss your work with other architects and designers?

yes I love to, we share experiences, fees, results.



massimo vignelli interview

dual time wrist watch by vignelli associates for junod, 2002



describe your style, like a good friend of yours would describe it.

spare, essential, intellectually elegant, strong, timeless (at least I hope!)



can you describe an evolution in your work from your first projects to the present day?

my work has been pretty much consistent, from the beginning, but I think it has undergone a continuous refinement, to become more and more essential.



massimo vignelli interview

kono table, by vignelli associates for casigliani, 1985



do you think today there is the proliferation of the decorative without a real social significance, decoration in absence of common values, … pretty superficial?

yes, and I hate it. it’s so shallow.



is there any designer and/or architect from the past, you appreciate a lot?

palladio, joseph hoffmann, mies van der rohe, louis kahn…



 massimo vignelli interview

‘fungo’ table lamp by massimo vignelli for venini, 1955




and those still working?

richard meier, tadao ando, and a few others.



any advice for the young ?

learn from the past, think of the present, dream of the future.what are you afraid of regarding the future?global pollution, explosion of vulgarity, and social irresponsibility.