Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times

Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times


I met Massimo Vignelli once. He was a speaker at the RGD DesignThinkers Conference in Toronto some years back. Along with hundreds of other design groupies, I waited patiently in line to have him sign my copy of his book Vignelli From A to Z. In front of me was one of my co-workers. He was dismayed to see that Vignelli was signing the books with a soft leaded pencil. His signature looked exquisite: a subtle shiny gray flourish on the black flyleaf. Perhaps concerned that the signature would not last, my co-worker attempted to hand Vignelli his pen and asked, “Could you please sign mine in pen.” Vignelli, slightly hunched and fragile looking, looked up at him with a frown and simply said, “I sign in pencil.” That’s all I can tell you about Massimo Vignelli, but I remember that moment fondly. Somehow it spoke volumes to me about a man who’s every mark seem thoroughly considered, right and non-negotiable.

Read The New York Times obituary
Read The Guardian obituary

Massimo Vignelli: A Master in the Grammar of Design

A Rare Interview With Graphic Design Legend Massimo Vignelli

Check out Vignelli’s favourite books