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Remembering Massimo: SEGD Pays Tribute

Iconic designer Massimo Vignelli passed away May 27, leaving behind a tremendous legacy of work, from the original branding for American Airlines, to brochures for the National Park Service, to stacking dishware. A hallmark of his aesthetic was an adherence to simplicity and clarity, most notably expressed in his groundbreaking work in redesigning the map and signage for the New York City transit system.

SEGD, the multi-disciplinary organization of environmental designers, has long recognized Vignelli’s impact on the discipline. In 2001, he was named an SEGD Fellow. Upon hearing of his passing, the organization posted an eloquent tribute titled “You Can Design Everything.” In it, they state that Vignelli’s “modernist sensibility lent new clarity to signage and information in public spaces… he stamped all of his work – from his controversial New York City subway map to books and corporate identities and even church pews – with signature clarity, simplicity, and rigor.”

The organization included tributes to Vignelli from SEGD Fellows and his peers in the environmental graphic design community. The memories paint a picture of a visionary who had an impact on the way ordinary people manage their commute, a passionate speaker who balanced eloquence with a delicous sense of humor, and a generous, enthusiastic colleague and mentor.

Top right: Massimo Vignelli at an SEGD conference. Used with permission.

Massimo Vignelli
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