Massimo Vignelli, the award-winning designer whose influential signature minimalist style balanced architecture and graphic design in the later half of the 20th century, has died at the age of 83 after a long-term illness.
Born in Milan on Jan. 10, 1931 and inspired by Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier, Vignelli began his career in architecture working as a draftsman when he was 16. He went on to study art and architecture in Milan and Venice, and came to the U.S. through academic fellowships between 1957-1960. He met his wife Lella Vignelli while studying in Venice and in 1960, they established the Vignelli Office of Design and Architecture in Milan.
After Vignelli formed renowned design firm Unimark International with six other designers in Chicago, where they created New York's subway signs and helped shape corporate identities through graphic design, he and Lella co-founded Vignelli Associates -- their own architecture firm -- in 1971.
Massimo Vignelli communicated architectural concepts into his work, which includes corporate design, publications, architectural graphics, interiors, furniture design, and consumer product design for many major American and European companies. His designs are published and exhibited around the world in notable museums like MoMA, the Metropolitan Museums of Art, Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York, Montreal's Musee des Arts Decoratifs, and Die Neue Sammlung in Munich. Massimo Vignelli was also featured in the popular 2007 film Helvetica.