Our Dear Creative Friend, Massimo Vignelli

Massimo Vignelli died May 27, 2014 at 83 years old. He was a graphic designer whose touch created so many iconic images of our modernist past.

His clients included American Airlines, Ford, IBM, Xerox and Gillette. His brochures for the National Park Service are still used. Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys all gave out Vignelli-designed shopping bags in the 1970s. He designed the signs for the New York and Washington subways and suggested the name Metro for the Washington system.

It is amazing how these images can create not only something for the eye but for the soul as well. His NYC Subway Map is perhaps one of the most memorable designs for me. He took what he called the “spaghetti” of subway routes and added simple clarity to it.

That’s all any designer wants to do – communicate clearly, though few often succeed.




Michael Klausner
[email protected]