An Italian, Massimo was born in Milan in 1931. It was there that he first studied art and architecture, until he came to America in 1957. In 1960, together with his wife Lella Vignelli, he established the Vignelli Office of Design and Architecture in Milan. in 1971 they formed Vignelli Associates, and in 1978, Vignelli Designs. His work covers nearly every field of design including advertising, identity, packaging, product, industrial, interior and architectural design. An avid fan of modernism, his work is always very clear and concise with no clutter or unnecessary material.
His first major foray into the field of identity and branding was through Unimark International, which quickly became one of the largest design studios in the world. He has designed identities for international corporations including American Airlines (which is the only airline to have not changed their identity in the past 50 years), Bloomingdales and Knoll. He favors a clarity in design and is a huge fan of using Helvetica, which can be seen in much of his work.
He has had work published all over the world and has several items in the permanent collections of various museums including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Cooper-Hewitt Museum. Together with his wife he has established a legacy of design that lives on through their work and their continued practice at their office in New York.
His New York City subway map, designed for the Transit Authority, is perhaps his most talked about work.
FILM & VIDEO:
Vignelli From A to Z
By Massimo Vignelli