Lella & Massimo Vignelli

Lella and Massimo Vignelli’s achievements in industrial and product design, graphic and publication design, corporate identity programs, architectural graphics, exhibition, interior, and furniture design have earned worldwide respect and numerous national and international awards for over 40 years. The Vignelli’s have produced very well-known corporate logos such as American Airlines, Bloomingdales, and Ford. The two designed signs for New York subway which bear the typeface Helvetica (created by Massimo in 1965). The couple has been featured in a documentary called Design is One: Lella and Massimo Vignelli. Their archive is being housed The Vignelli Center for Design Studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Massimo Vigenelli now speaks for the two since Lella has taken ill. He tells the NY Times that the firm Vignelli Associates, founded more than four decades ago, moves on in “a symbiotic way. Whatever I do reflects, somehow, both aspects [of myself and Lella].” Throughout their career, their motto has been: If you can’t find it, design it. He explains that the two have traditionally preferred to “do design that affects millions of people.” M. Vigenelli believes that all things require design and that design is a reflection on the integrity of the whole. He said “Integrity is beautiful. Things that are ugly, it’s because they have no integrity.” His advice for designers is that the designer must decide who they design for and that the client must be able to understand the designer’s roll. “Designers are like doctors.” he says. “When you go to the doctor, you don’t tell the doctor what you want — you ask the doctor to give you what you need.” He









** For ART224, Portland State University, Spring Term, 2014