Massimo Vignelli

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Massimo Vignelli (born 1931 in Milan, Italy) is a designer who has done work in a number of areas ranging from package design to furniture design to public signage to showroom design through Vignelli Associates, which he co-founded with his wife Lella. He has said, "If you can design one thing, you can design everything," and this is reflected in his broad range of work.

Vignelli works firmly within the Modernist tradition, and focuses on simplicity through the use of basic geometric forms in all of his work.


[edit] Life

Vignelli was born in Milan in 1931; through his teenage years, he became enthralled with design and befriended many of the great architects of his day. (He sometimes says his youth was spent as an "architecture groupie.") He went on to study architecture at the Politecnico di Milano and later at the Università di Architettura, Venice.

From 1957 to 1960, Vignelli visited America on a fellowship, and returned to New York in 1966 to start the New York branch of a new company, Unimark International, which quickly became, both in scope and in sheer number of personnel, one of the largest design firms in the world. The firm went on to design many of the world's most recognizable corporate identities, including that of American Airlines (which forced him to incorporate the eagle, Massimo is always quick to point out). Vignelli also designed the iconic signage for the New York City Subway system during this period.

In 1971, Massimo founded Vignelli Associates with his wife Lella.

Presently, Vignelli continues to work as a designer from Vignelli Associates' New York office.

Vignelli was involved with filmmaker Gary Hustwit in the documentary Helvetica, about the typeface of the same name.

Vignelli recently updated his 1972 New York City subway map.

[edit] Work

Massimo Vignelli has worked in a wide variety of areas, including interior design, environmental design, package design, graphic design, furniture design, and product design. His clients at Vignelli Associates have included high-profile companies such as IBM and American Airlines.

He recently donated a large portion of his work to the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Massimo Vignelli participated in the Stock Exchange of Visions project in 2007.

In January 2009 Vignelli released an e-book titled "The Vignelli Canon" which is available for free download on his website[1]. In the introduction Vignelli writes, "I thought that it might be useful to pass some of my professional knowledge around, with the hope of improving [young designers'] design skills. Creativity needs the support of knowledge to be able to perform at its best."[2]

[edit] Awards

  • 1964 - Gran Premio Triennale di Milano.
  • 1964 - 1998 Compasso d’Oro, from (ADI), Italian Association for Industrial Design.
  • 1973 - Industrial Arts Medal of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
  • 1982 - New York Art Directors Club Hall of Fame.
  • 1982 - Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design, New York
  • 1983 - AIGA Gold Medal.
  • 1985 - first Presidential Design Award, presented by President Ronald Reagan, for the National Park Service Publications Program.
  • 1987 - Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York
  • 1988 - Interior Design Hall of Fame.
  • 1988 - Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1991 - National Arts Club Gold Medal for Design.
  • 1992 - Interior Product Designers Fellowship of Excellence.
  • 1993 - New York State Governor’s Award for Excellence
  • 1994 - Honorary Doctorate in Architecture from the University of Venice, Italy
  • 1994 - Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Corcoran School of Art, Washington D.C.
  • 1995 - Brooklyn Museum Design Award for Lifetime Achievement.
  • 1996 - Honorary Royal Designer for Industry Award, Royal Society of Arts, London.
  • 2000 - Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California
  • 2002 - Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York
  • 2003 - National Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Museum of Design at Cooper-Hewitt, New York.
  • 2004 - Visionary Award from the Museum of Art and Design, New York.
  • 2005 - Architecture Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, NY.

[edit] References

  1. ^
  2. ^

[edit] External links

Personal tools