Collection by Kelsey Keith

Surprising Massimo Vignelli Designs


Industrial and graphic designers Massimo and Lella Vignelli are giants in their field. (You may know them for any number of instantly recognizable design objects, from the New York City transit signage and subway map to printed posters for the Salone del Mobile fair in Milan.) Massimo Vignelli is also a man of many words, most of them quotable ("There is no design without discipline. There is no discipline without intelligence."). Throughout their decades-long career, Vignelli Associates have completed a dizzying array of work—some of it which may surprise even the most ardent Vignelli follower. Here are seven designs that deserve as much recognition as a certain sans-serif font employed in a certain subway system.

Interiors of Saint Peter's Church in Manhattan on Lexington Avenue at 54th Street.
Vignelli designed every issue of Architectural Record magazine for a few years in the early 1980s.
Saratoga modular seating system designed in 1964 for Italian company Poltronova.
A new, standardized version of the Bodoni typeface.
The United States' National Park Service collateral (which won the US Presidential Design Award in 1985).
Also consider also Vignelli Associates' Cats and Dogs guidebooks from 1985.
Bonus round: James Turrell-like neon of the old Artemide store in Miami from 1987.
At the age of 78, Massimo Vignelli designed the interiors for Manhattan Italian restaurant SD26 with his wife and...