Lella & Massimo Vignelli

Massimo Vignelli was born in Milan in 1931, he studied architecture in Milan and in Venice.

From 1957 to 1960, Vignelli visited America on a fellowship. In 1960 he opened Studio Vignelli of Design and Architecture in Milan together with Lella Vignelli. In 1965 he was the co-founder as well as the Design Director of the Unimark International Corporation.

He returned to New York in 1966 to start the New York branch of this company which quickly became, in scope and personnel, one of the largest design firms in the world. The firm went on to design many of the world's most recognizable corporate identities, including that of American Airlines (which forced him to incorporate the eagle, Massimo is always quick to point out). Vignelli designed the iconic signage for the New York City Subway system during this period, and the intriguing but controversial 1970s-80s map of the system.

Lella Vignelli was born in Udine, Italy, in 1934. She received a degree from the School of Architecture, University of Venice, and became a registered architect in Milan in 1962. In 1958, she received a tuition fellowship as a special student at the School of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge. In 1959 Ms. Vignelli joined Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Chicago, as junior designer in the interiors department. The following year, with Massimo, she established the Vignelli Office of Design and Architecture in Milan.

Their work includes graphic and corporate identity programs, publishing design, systems of signs, exhibitions, furniture and interiors, product design for both American and European companies and institutions.

The Vignelli’s work has been published and showed all over the world and is part of permanent collections of several museums, such as: the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art NY, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Cooper-Hewitt National Museum of Design NY, Musee des Art Decoratives in Montreal, Die Neue Sammlung Museum in Munich, etc

Among many other awards, in 2003 Lella and Massimo Vignelli received the National Design Lifetime Achievement Award.

Read more