Vignelli Design

Homage to the design legacy of Massimo and Lella Vignelli. Curated by Rakesh Rachamalla.

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Happy Birthday, Edward Larrabee Barnes!

The Vignellis did quite a bit of graphic design for the Park Tower Group including this brochure for Barnes’ 535 Madison Avenue building.

535 Madison Avenue brochure design for Park Tower Group
printed samples with folder
Box 158, Massimo and Lella Vignelli papers
Vignelli Center for Design Studies 
Rochester, New York

6 months ago →

We work through a process; it is the backbone of our methodology. It is a process of thinking: examining, sifting, digging, exploring until you get down to the thing that is just right.

Sometimes I discover by happenstance, but a lot of people get seduced by happenstance and that is a very different thing. That is the culture of the found object as opposed to the culture of the designed object. It is not that it is a wrong way of working, it is a different way of working.

Our update to the 1985 chart on trends and movements, bringing it into the digital era. (For Metropolis Mag)

2 years ago →
Our update to the 1985 chart on trends and movements, bringing it into the digital era.
(For Metropolis Mag)

Whatever we do, if not understood, fails to communicate and is wasted effort. We design things which we think are semantically correct and syntactically consistent but if, at the point of fruition, no one understands the result, or the meaning of all that effort, the entire work is useless. Sometimes it may need some explanation but it is better when not necessary. Any artifact should stand by itself in all its clarity. Otherwise, something really important has been missed.

Stackability is not accidental. It has been designed for that purpose. Piling up, you do with junk. Stacking, you can only do through design.

2 years ago →
Stackability is not accidental. It has been designed for that purpose. Piling up, you do with junk. Stacking, you can only do through design.

SD26: A New York restaurant designed by Lella and Massimo Vignelli.

2 years ago →
SD26: A New York restaurant designed by Lella and Massimo Vignelli.

The Vignelli home library: 50 years of print design.

2 years ago →
The Vignelli home library: 50 years of print design.

The Saratoga, designed in 1964 for Poltronova.

2 years ago →
The Saratoga, designed in 1964 for Poltronova.

If you are an artist, you can do anything you want. It’s perfectly all right. Design serves a different purpose. If in the process of solving a problem you create a problem, obviously, you didn’t design.

Steve Jobs never asked people what they wanted; he gave them what they needed. He had vision, courage and determination — to me, the most important attributes in life. His work will forever remain a beacon to enlightened industrialists.

T Magazine, August 2011

Choose things that are timeless. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. There are folding chairs that cost $10 to $15 that are great design, just as there are chairs that cost thousands that are junk.

Our favorite cups are plain white Wedgwood ones designed long ago. Five hundred years from now, they will still be beautiful. And they didn’t mess it up with decoration. There was no need to.

You can reach timelessness if you look for the essence of things and not the appearance. The appearance is transitory — the appearance is fashion, the appearance is trendiness — but the essence is timeless.

A schematic chart of ideological and design changes. Also, see this modern interpretation.

3 years ago →
A schematic chart of ideological and design changes.  Also, see this modern interpretation.

Vignelli designed invitations to an exhibition on renowned architect, Richard Meier. Set on square cards using beautiful red Bodoni. Images via Felt & Wire.