20 Facts About Massimo Vignelli


Massimo Vignelli was an Italian designer who worked in a number of areas including packaging, houseware, furniture, public signage, and showroom design.

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Massimo Vignelli was the co-founder of Vignelli Associates, with his wife, Lella.

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Massimo Vignelli's motto was, "If you can design one thing, you can design everything, " which the broad range of his work reflects.

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Massimo Vignelli's style stressed simplicity by using basic geometric shapes.

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Massimo Vignelli designed the iconic signage for the New York City Subway system during this period, and the 1970s–80s map of the system.

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Contrary to news reports, Massimo Vignelli did not design the Washington Metro Map, which was designed by Lance Wyman and Bill Cannan.

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Massimo Vignelli created the signage and wayfinding system for the DC Metro and suggested it be named "Metro" like many other capital city subways.

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In 1971, Massimo Vignelli resigned from Unimark, in part because the design vision which he supported became diluted as the company diversified and increasingly stressed marketing, rather than design.

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Massimo Vignelli worked with filmmaker Gary Hustwit on the documentary Helvetica, about the typeface of the same name.

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Massimo Vignelli updated his 1972 New York City Subway map for an online-only version implemented in 2011 and described as a "diagram", not a map, to reflect its abstract design without surface-level features such as streets and parks.

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Massimo Vignelli equipped his own home with tables, chairs, lamps and other items that he designed himself.

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Massimo Vignelli worked in a wide variety of areas, including interior design, environmental design, package design, graphic design, furniture design, and product design.

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Massimo Vignelli participated in the Stock Exchange of Visions project in 2007, as well as publishing the book, Massimo Vignelli: From A to Z, containing a series of essays describing the principles and concepts behind "all good design".

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Massimo Vignelli's designs were famous for following a minimal aesthetic and a narrow range of typefaces that Massimo Vignelli considered to be perfect in their genre, including Akzidenz-Grotesk, Bodoni, Helvetica, Garamond No 3 and Century Expanded.

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In January 2009, Massimo Vignelli released The Massimo Vignelli Canon as a free e-book; an expanded version was printed in September 2010.

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When Unimark International opened an office in New York in 1965, Mildred Constantine, curator of design at the Museum of Modern Art put Ingalls in touch with Massimo Vignelli, who headed up the New York office from the end of 1965.

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Robert Noorda and Massimo Vignelli created a system of signage that the TA adopted and which still pervades every station in the subway today.

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Massimo Vignelli recruited Fred Wilkinson from Macy's who formed the Subway Map Committee in 1975 to design a new map to replace Vignelli's.

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The Massimo Vignelli map was replaced by a newer design, which is still used.

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Vignelli Center for Design Studies will house our comprehensive archive of graphic design, furniture and objects, under the direction of R Roger Remington, the Vignelli Distinguished Professor of Design at RIT, the center will foster studies related to Modernist design with programs and exhibitions on our work as well as other related subjects.

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