10 Beautiful Things We Have Massimo Vignelli to Thank For
Modernist graphic designer Massimo Vignelli died earlier today at the age of 83, leaving the Internet to mourn his passing and celebrate his timeless work. From ads and logos that appear more like modern art, to everyday objects made more beautiful by his aesthetic, Vignelli’s effect on the world of design is everlasting. Here’s a look at 10 of our favorite pieces from the late, insanely great designer.
1. NYC Subway Map: One of the most famous and iconic Vignelli designs is the Big Apple’s subway system map. When commuters first got their eyes on it in 1972, they were not thrilled at seeing the parks greyed out and the boroughs as basic white boxes. But as Vignelli explained: “You want to go from Point A to Point B. The only thing you are interested in is the spaghetti.” And what beautiful spaghetti it is.
2. Handkerchief Chair ($492): The designer made the stacking chair stylish with his 1983 design.
3. Life Lessons: Canadian designer Anthony Neil Dart created this poster series with five phrases to live by via Massimo Vignelli’s wise words. With graduation season in full swing, we think these are sure to inspire us all.
4. American Airlines Logo: As Vignelli’s official site reads: “American Airlines logo half-red, half-blue, in plain type stresses the professional, no-gimmicks attitude of the company in the colors of its home nation.”
5. Perpetual Wall Calendar ($82): Introduced in 1980, the perpetual calendar will always be up-to-date.
6. Pneumatici Pirelli: This advertisement for Pirelli tires now belongs in (and to) the Museum of Modern Art.
7. Your Love of All Things Helvetica: The designer felt that the myriad typefaces at your fingertips whenever you log onto a computer were a waste, and we can’t blame him (hello/goodbye, Comic Sans!). As a cheerleader for a simple few, including the yummy Helvetica, the designer long ago sparked our love affair with the clean typeface.
8. Heller Rainbow Mugs ($60) + Vignelli Bench ($700): Lella and Massimo Vignelli created the multipurpose bench as a casual piece for their Italian home. Available in a range of colors, we could see think of about 1,000 purposes for it. And those cups? Oh, those pretty cups.
9. Bloomingdale’s Logo + Brown Bag: The iconic Bloomie’s logo and shopping bags printed with “little” “medium” and “big brown bag” are fashion statements of their own.
10. The Weekender: NYCers on-the-go have Vignelli to thank for bringing his useful vision of the subway system into the 21st century with an easy-to-navigate online home that shows planned service changes each weekend.
Are you a fan of Massimo Vignelli’s work? Did you know he was behind some of the most iconic maps and logos? Share your thoughts + Vignelli favorites below!
Back in January, we introduced you to a feel-good cause to inspire your New Year's resolution: a walking challenge to help raise funds for the amazing cancer fighters at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I took part in the challenge with the Brit + Co team and ended up walking 105+ miles in January — it was awesome.
This spring, there's a new challenge on the horizon, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Big Climb. The ask: On May 15, 2021, you can step up to take cancer down by committing to climb 1,311 steps, walking 3.2 miles, or doing 440 chair step-ups at home as part of the Big Climb. If you need some motivation to bring movement back into your daily routine — look no further!
As always, it's free to sign up, but climbers are encouraged to set a fundraising goal to help beat cancer. We'll be organizing another Brit + Co team to step up, and I hope you'll join us too! Keep scrolling for a peek at where I'll be completing the challenge in my Los Angeles neighborhood around the hidden Silver Lake Stairs. Happy climbing!
Never underestimate the power of an accountability buddy! I asked my in-laws, my partner, and a few friends to join me so we can keep each other motivated and accountable in completing the challenge — virtual high-fives all around! Also, my dog Fox is a great climber, too.
An aesthetically pleasing backdrop is a huge motivator for me! I'm fortunate to have all sorts of painted steps around my neighborhood to keep the challenge interesting, but you can also keep cool inside with at-home chair step-ups.
Don't forget to share your progress on social — #BigClimb!
Feel free to break the challenge up if you need to by tackling half the distance in the AM and half at sunset. Here's me 1,311 steps later and ready for a break — but, think I earned this one!