Clearly a Designer

NYCSubwayMassimo Vignelli decoded and untangled the web of NYC’s subway system in the summer of 1972. His astonishing ability to create clarity from chaos was unsurpassed. He introduced the European streamlined, modernist, minimal aesthetic to the American design community – and forever changed the landscape of graphic design.

Born in Milan, Italy in 1931, he studied art and architecture and worked as an architectural draftsman. He also worked as a designer for the renowned Venini Glassworks on the island of Murano in Venice. But in the end, after moving to the United States in the mid 1960s, it was the world of graphic design and corporate identity that stole his heart. He founded Unimark International in Chicago and afterwards opened his own studio, Vignelli Associates in 1971. Among his clients were American Airlines, Ford, IBM, Xerox, Gillette, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue and the National Park Service. Mr. Vignelli died on May 27, 2014 creating a void the design world will never be able to fill.

Read the Vignelli Cannon for more.