RGD remembers Massimo Vignelli, two-time DesignThinkers speaker and creative visionary
05/06/14
The design community celebrates the inspirational contributions of of acclaimed graphic designer Massimo Vignelli, who passed away last week at age 83. 
 

Vignelli presented talks at DesignThinkers in 2005 and 2008, sharing his creative passion and inspiring work with design and communications professionals who continue to recognize his impact in their careers today. 

 

"Massimo Vignelli was an amazing designer and a lovely man. I've always been in awe of his ability to master so many design disciplines — architecture, industrial, fashion, graphic design. I admire the bold clarity of his attitude, which states, 'if something doesn't work, simply redesign it.' His design style has greatly influenced my own, driving me to opt for clean and elegant solutions. Age never diminished Massimo’s passion and curiosity for design—nor his willingness to share his expertise. At DesignThinkers, he was warm, approachable and genuinely enthusiastic about talking to delegates. Thank you Massimo for your great contribution to design." - Nicole Vallée RGD 

 

"Massimo was a giant who will often be imitated, but never replaced. I feel fortunate to have seen him speak twice, and I will always remember how he reacted to the 2008 economic collapse. I'm sure I'm not getting this quote quite right, but he said something to the effect of, "Misery is what I hope for, I can't wait for it. It will clear the congestion that needs to be purged." Massimo was the consummate modernist, suggesting that old ideas needed to give way to better perspectives. He will be sorely missed." - Mark McAllister RGD  

 

"I remember hearing and seeing Massimo Vignelli in person at DesignThinkers 2008. A true modernist, responsible for some of the most iconic graphic designs of the 20th century (New York City Subway, American Airlines, Knoll) he challenged us to pursue timelessness over fads, but most memorable to me is the warmth, wit and charm that he exuded. With relaxed elegance, he made us feel that, as designers, we were family. Grazie Mille Massimo Vignelli, you will be missed by so very many but your work lives on." - Lionel Gadoury RGD 

 

On Twitter:
@Diego_Casco: Sad to hear the news. Massimo Vignelli has been such a source of inspiration. Glad I got to meet him at #rgdDT @RGD
@BmDodo: We have lost a true design giant. R.I.P  Massimo Vignelli. Your work and inspiration will live on. #rgdDT #iSad @RGD

 

In the news:

Azure Magazine: In Memoriam: Massimo Vignelli

Fast Company: R.I.P. Massimo Vignelli, One Of The Greatest 20th Century Designers

Metropolis Magazine: Massimo Vignelli: 1931-2014

NY Times: Massimo Vignelli, Visionary Designer Who Untangled the Subway, Dies at 83

 
 
"Massimo Vignelli's presentation was truly inspirational -- not only for his excellent work (which set forth a style so pervasive, it's essentially background noise for someone of my generation) -- but also for the evident joy derived from his career, which provoked much reflection on the possibilities of design. Who ever thought that changing the world could be so much fun?" - DT 2005 Attendee
 

"Thank you for your kind hospitality and for the opportunity to be one of your speakers...Once again I want to congratulate the staff for making the conference a smooth and memorable experience." - Massimo Vignelli, 2005

 

Share your memories of Massimo Vignelli on Twitter with the hashtag #rgdDT or post in our DesignThinkers LinkedIn Discussion to join the conversation.