‘the life of a designer is a life of fight: fight against ugliness. I think that it is my responsibility to make the work better than it is. that is my number one priority. the second priority is to decrease the amount of vulgarity around by replacing the vulgarity with things that are more refined. my life is a continual struggle, a continuous battle against vulgarity taking over.’ – Massimo Vignelli
Our dear friend and life supporter of MIIM Designs, the Italian graphic designer Massimo Vignelli, passed away, yesterday, Tuesday, morning the 27th of may, 2014; he was 83. Massimo shaped the visible through designing the world around us in profoundly influential ways. Few examples of his reflective work have been the New York City subway system (presence will continue to be felt) graphics and icons for the National Park Service. He also designed Oppositions, Skyline, and exhibition catalogues for The Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies; and beautiful monographs, as well as firm identities, for many, many architects. His identities for international brands undeniably shaped how the world looks today -powerful corporate identities, book designs, and building graphics. Vignelli was one of the field’s true greats and had become synonymous with modern graphic design.
Born in Milan in 1931, he studied architecture in both Milan and Venice. He and his wife Lella, both designers, first ran a successful design firm in Milan, then moved to New York in 1966 to start a US branch of Unimark International. By 1971, they founded Vignelli associates where they worked together on graphic and industrial design projects. Much of Vignelli’s work saw him bring visual order to chaos and making things ‘beautiful’.
Every phone call, interaction with him was a delight. His guidance and mentorship will be unforgettable and his love for design and bringing order to this chaotic world is something we hope MIIM Designs can continue. Thank you for everything and we love you, Massimo.