Massimo Vignelli is perhaps one of the most accomplished designers and visual artists that has ever lived
When you walk down into the New York subway, do you ever really notice the decal and typography that surrounds you? If you’re like most people, you don’t. It’s just become a part of the living, breathing, stinking thing that is the transit system. But what about the first time you walked in? What about that first whirling moment when you couldn’t tell what was South, what was North, what was Uptown, what was Downtown? The Helvetica, the simplistic transit lines, and most iconically, the subway map, were dazzling sentiments that seemed to be etched into your mind from movies, TV shows, books, magazines, music, and so much more. Now, it lay before you, in all it’s charming, mesmerizing, and iconic ways. And that can all be attributed to one man—Massimo Vignelli.
But beyond his work for the MTA in designing the most recognizable transit map on the planet, Massimo Vignelli has also designed a wide variety of world-famous works. From his work for Galerias to his redesign of the Bloomingdales bag, Vignelli has done an outstanding job of creating a singular identity for many of these brands and companies. His designs are ones that live beyond his life, ensuring that his legacy remain enshrined in cities, institutions, and cultural adages like few others ever could.