President of Vignelli Associates, New York, Massimo Vignelli was born in Milan and studied architecture in Milan and Venice. His work includes graphic and corporate identity programmes, publication designs, packaging, architectural graphics, exhibitions, interiors, furniture and consumer product designs for many leading US and European companies and institutions.
He is widely known for his design ethos, conveyed in succinct quotes that have translated into posters and other typographic renderings.
If you can design one thing, you can design everything – Massimo Vignelli
His work has been published and exhibited throughout the world and entered in the permanent collections of several museums. He is a past president of the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI) and the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), and a past vice president of the Architectural League of New York.
A major exhibition of Vignelli Associates' work toured Europe's most important museums between 1989 and 1993. He was the recipient of many important national and international awards, seven Honorary Doctorates in Fine Arts, the 1982 Art Directors Club Hall of Fame, the 1983 AIGA Gold Medal, and the 1985 US President's Design Excellence Award. In 1996 he received the Honorary Royal Designer for Industry Award from the Royal Society of Arts, London.
With his wife and partner, Lella Vignelli, he received the 2003 National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement, and the Architecture Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2005.
In September 2010, the RIT in Rochester, New York, opened the Vignelli Center for Design Studies, a building dedicated to the Vignelli Archive and to a Masters course in history, theory and criticism of graphic design.
Massimo Vignelli passed away on 27 May 2014.