Design Is One
Massimo Vignelli & Lella Vignelli


Massimo & Lella Vignelli

©Vignelli Associates

MV: Having been raised in the schools of architecture of Milan and Venice, it should come as no surprise to anyone that we are strong believers of the notion that 'design is one'. We were raised with the belief that a designer should be able to do anything from a spoon to a city. As Vignelli's we have done a lot of spoons, no cities yet, but the future is ahead. Whatever we have done is basically rooted on the notion of discipline as a sense of rigorousness, the notion of appropriateness as the search for the specific, and the notion of ambiguity intended as a plurality of meaning or, even better, a delightful sense of contradiction in whatever you do.


Poster Designs

©Vignelli Associates

MV: The first slide that we'll see today, we have a sort of composite of graphic work done in a span of 20 years. One can immediately see that there is a continuity of language and that is basically what we call structure, graphic structure as opposed to graphic images. The hard black lines crossing these posters, they really are dividing the message in what we call information bands. From the poster on the left which is a theatre poster) to the poster on the centre and the right which are calendars of events, you see that kind of structure. The crumpled little piece of paper which is at the centre of the slide is an announcement for an exhibition of our work, and it was printed in a Bodoni type, the most Italian of all typefaces, on a tissue paper and thereafter crumpled in order to destroy the rhetoric which was built to begin in the design. And the final design is the distorted type and the crumpled paper. Again, a way of contradicting what has been done, the level of ambiguity or, even more, the classical way that we say 'here I'll say it, here I'll deny it'.

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