May 27th, 2014, marks a day of great loss for the design world as we learn of the passing of Massimo Vignelli. The acclaimed designer died earlier today in his home on the UES after a long illness.
Vignelli's work was firmly based within the Modernist tradition, focusing on simplicity and the use of basic geometric forms. He was an inspiration to many young graphic designers of our time and he will be dearly missed by the design world.
Vignelli, studied architecture in his native Milan at the Politecnico di Milano, and later on in Venice at Universita' di Architettura. In the late 50's he spent three years in America on a fellowship and seeing much wider opportunities available abroad, he returned to live in New York City back in 1966.
He established a new branch of Unimark International in NY, which quickly became one of the largest design firms in the world. He left the company in 1971, as it began to drift away from design and more into marketing. He then opened an extremely successful design company, Vignelli Associates together with his wife Lella, The company was renamed Vignelli Designs in 1978, and has become an icon for the design world.
Among his clients are American Airlines, Ford, IBM, Xerox, Gillette, Bloomingdale's, Barney's and Saks Fifth Avenue. His designs surround us in our daily lives as he is the designer of the the original sinage for the NYC subway system, as well as that of the Washington D.C. metro. His work has been exhibited all over the world and is part of the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and museums in Philladelphia, Israel, Canada and Germany.
Massimo Vignelli was a great fan of i-Italy and our projects. He was always available to listen and advise us in our adventures. We are eternally grateful for the contagious positive energy he always was full of. It was a great honor for all of us to find ourselves in his company, to watch him teach and learn from the emerging young designer talent.
We thank him for his time and his genius. He leaves us with a timeless i-Italy logo, a beautifully designed Fiat 500, and broken hearts.
We will miss you Massimo...