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LUC DEVROYE


ABOUT







Massimo Vignelli

Famous Italian typographer and graphic designer, b. 1931, Milan, d. 2014. Designer, with Tom Carnase, of WTC Our Bodoni (1989). In 1966, he set up Unimark International in New York City, which became the largest disign firm of its day. He left Unimark in 1971, to set up Vignelli Associates in New York City with his wife Lelli.

He dismissed Emigre as a garbage pail of design. Famous for his designs and opinions, he once said that a designer should only use these five typefaces: Bodoni, Helvetica, Times Roman, Century and Futura. Another quote along the samne lines: In the new computer age, the proliferation of typefaces and type manipulations represents a new level of visual pollution threatening our culture. Out of thousands of typefaces, all we need are a few basic ones, and trash the rest.

In his Vignelli Canon (free PDF book on design), he mentions these six: Garamond (1532), Bodoni (1788), Century Expanded (1900), Futura (1930), Times Roman (1931) and Helvetica (1957) [However, in that booklet he uses 8 different type families: the above six, and Gill Sans and Univers]. Yves Peters' reaction: Massimo Vignelli clearly hasn't got a clue. It's not the first time a quote of his makes me cringe. I hope you appreciate I'm trying real hard to stay polite. Frankly, if I ever heard anyone say: "a music lover should only listen to 5 artists: Elton John, Celine Dion, Billy Joel, Whitney Houston and Luciano Pavarotti" I'd go to great lengths to ridicule the billy sastard. Nevertheless, in the eyes of many designers, he is a role model and an icon. Vignelli published New York City Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual (1970, New York, as Unimark International).

Famous quotes:

  • I like the instant gratification that design gives---a continuous orgasm.
  • At the end of the day there is time for everybody. The one thing that unifies the good guys is their sense of responsibility.
  • The life of a designer is a life of fight: fight against the ugliness.
  • I don't think that type should be expressive at all. I can write the word 'dog' with any typeface and it doesn't have to look like a dog. But there are people that [think that] when they write 'dog' it should bark.
  • Unfortunately, there are designers and marketing people who intentionally look down on the consumer with the notion that vulgarity has a definite appeal to the masses, and therefore they supply the market with a continuos flow of crude and vulgar design. I consider this action criminal since it is producing visual pollution that is degrading our environment just like all other types of pollution.
  • If you do it right, it will last forever.
  • A grid is like underwear. You wear it but it's not to be exposed.
  • If you design one thing, you can design everything.
  • I like it to be visually powerful, intellectually elegant, and above all, timeless.
  • A designer without a sense of history is worth nothing.
  • In the new computer age, the proliferation of typefaces and type manipulations represents a new level of visual pollution threatening our culture. Out of thousands of typefaces, all we need are a few basic ones, and trash the rest.
  • The life of a designer is a life of fight: fight against the ugliness.

Discussion of his work by the typophiles. Report of his presentation at ATypI 2006 in Lisbon.

Wikipedia link. FontShop link. Klingspor link.

EXTERNAL LINKS
Massimo Vignelli
Monotype link
Klingspor Museum page
MyFonts search
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Fontspring search
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INTERNAL LINKS
Type designers ⦿ Type designers ⦿ Type design in Italy ⦿ Books on type design ⦿ Modern style [Bodoni, Didot, Walbaum, Thorowgood, Computer Modern, etc.] ⦿ Type scene in New York ⦿ Type personalities ⦿ Eric Gill and his typefaces ⦿








file name: Massimo Vignelli Poster by Anthony Neil Dart 2015


file name: Massimo Vignelli Vignelliism by Anthony Neil Dart 2015


file name: Massimo Vignelli Vignelliism by Anthony Neil Dart 2015b


file name: Massimo Vignelli Vignelliism by Anthony Neil Dart 2015c


file name: Massimo Vignelli Vignelliism by Anthony Neil Dart 2015d


file name: Massimo Vignelli Vignelliism by Anthony Neil Dart 2015e


file name: Vignelli Sixtypes1991


file name: Massimo Vignelli Tom Carnase W T C Our Bodoni 1989 Poster by Bill Dawson 2015


file name: Massimo Vignelli New York City Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual 1970


file name: Massimo Lelli Vignelli







Luc Devroye ⦿ School of Computer Science ⦿ McGill University Montreal, Canada H3A 2K6 ⦿ lucdevroye@gmail.com ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org/fonts.html