Massimo Vignelli’s Book List

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I really wish I was as lucky as Michael Beirut (and the many other graphic designers who got a chance to study and work with Massimo Vignelli!) who not only has known great Massimo Vignelli in person but who also got to start his designer’s career under the guidance of this great graphic designer. Vignelli was truly a great graphic designer. If you live in New York, but have nothing to do with the design world, you might not know that pretty much everywhere you go in NYC, you encounter the works of Vignelli. Subway map? Yes, it’s Vignelli who made such awesome in its simplicity and easy to understand map that has been around forever, and I don’t think it’ll go away any time soon.

He’s one of those graphic designers who makes simple, but very delicious design. It’s delicious because it’s so simple that it makes you ache and wonder – why he could come up with something that simple and you can’t?!

United Colors of Beneton, American Airlines and Bloomingdales – are all his logos…or Knoll furniture?! So simple and at the same time so sleek and sexy…

If you are a graphic designer or you are a graphic design afficionado, you might know that Massimo Vignelli has passed away on May 27, 2014. That was NOT a happy day for many of his followers, students and aspiring graphic designers. As a matter of fact, it was a strange month, because on May 14 died another great artist, designer, teacher – Tony Palladino, who I knew personally. Tony was our mentor – to the four of us in his design class he taught for a few years at the School of Visual Arts. He let us in his house. We met his family. We went through his personal books and drawings. Because of him, we are all still friends. It was a very sad news for us! He was not only a great artist, but a great kind person who taught us how to think and create conceptually and who always said to us: “It’s important to be kind…” I’ll always remember it. Because I truly believe in being kind to your work, colleagues and clients…

Both of these great graphic designers who lived and worked in New York City left a long legacy…for all of us to follow or…at least to try to be a bit better as graphic designers.

A few days ago in one of the newsletters I subscribe from Designers & Books, there was a link to the Massimo Vignelli’s Book List that he shared with the readers – these are the books that inspired him, that made him a great designer. Personally, I was really pleasantly surprised that quite a few of his favorite books are by Russian authors, and with which choices I completely agree! Continue reading

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