Massimo Vignelli died last Tuesday. He is a huge influence on us (he is a huge influence on everyone), so bear with us while we indulge in a small show of hero worship.

 

Vignelli designed some of the most iconic brands of the late twentieth century. He was a modernist, arguably, the great commerical modernist. The one who has influenced the most and left the biggest impression, the one who most effectively lifted inflexible design ethics and planted them firmly all over the cultural landscape of the last forty odd years.

 

Some standouts: American Airlines. The New York Subway map and brand (before the philistines got their hands on it). IBM.

 

For more on Vignelli, watch Helvetica or read his wonderful free e-book, The Vignelli Canon. The quote below is one of his either/or excerpts from the text:

 

We are for a Design that lasts, that responds to
people’s needs and to people’s wants. We are
for a Design that is committed to a society that
demands long lasting values. A society that earns
the benefit of commodities and deserves respect
and integrity.

 

We’ll say Amen to that.