Massimo Vignelli, Germano Celant, Mildred Constantine, David McFadden, Joseph Rykwert: DESIGN: VIGNELLI. NYC: Rizzoli 1990. First edition. A nearly fine hardcover book in a fine dustjacket: text block top edhe lightly spotted, otherwise a remarkably well-preserved copy. Interior unmarked and very clean. Out-of-print.
8.75 x 9.25 hardcover book, 292 heavily illustrated pages representing a complete list of Massimo Vignelli's designs in the fields of graphic design, furniture design and architectural signage. Includes essays by Germano Celant, Mildred Constantine, David McFadden, and Joseph Rykwert. Remarkably comprehensive.
This book in a vast expansion on the 1981 catalogue for the Vignelli Exhibition at Padiglione d' Arte Contemporanea, Milano which had been shown at the Parsons School of Design.
From the book: "(Lella & Massimo) Vignelli have been designing graphics, interiors and products with an 'internationally recognized refined aesthetics, evolving modernity and crisp point of view' from the 1960s. This 'landmark volume.presents [their] brilliant, multidisciplinary approach.for corporate identity programs, brochures, catalogues , commercial packaging, signage, exhibitions, showrooms, offices, residential interiors, books, magazines, newspapers, calendars, furniture, glass, china and tableware." Contents include:
Massimo Vignelli recalls the exact day that he found the design language that he would be known for. It was 1963, he had a studio in Milan, Lella & Massimo Vignelli Design & Architecture, where he designed in a reductive manner using Helvetica, black rules, and solid colored backgrounds. He put this into practice for Sansoni designing formats for scores of series and hundreds of books until leaving Italy for American in 1965. Today he uses more Bodoni, but hasn't changed his basic design attitude one iota. He made his early reputation by designing strict formats for series like these.
"I always worked like this from the very beginning, I never had another way but this structural approach," admits Vignelli proudly. "My aim was always to reach maximum impact, so I used Helvetica on white or solid color backgrounds, which stood out Ñ boom Ñ from the texture of all the other books on the shelves. I designed many series this way, I had some books with only white covers with type raining down and some with a black and white illustration on bottom. We wanted to develop standards to avoid gratuitous criticism by publisher's wives or secretaries and sales people. First and foremost we were searching for objectivity. So we convinced the publisher that a book was like a soap box. The publisher's brand was the important thing, so each book looked alike. We played safe with the illustration by using things from the past. Who could argue with Rembrandt and Durer?"
A sample spread from this volume can be viewed here.
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