A Design Icon Passes on to that big Studio in the Sky

Massimo Vignelli, an Italian-born designer whose iconic subway signs, business logos (American Airlines), shopping bags (Bloomingdales), books, and furniture became reference points of daily life and touchstones in modern design, passed away this week. He was 83. 

Mr. Vignelli, trained largely in Milan, came to the United States in the 1960s with his wife, Lella, and together they formed one of the most celebrated design partnerships of the postwar era and beyond. Here’s what he had to say about design:

Design is a profession that takes care of everything around us. Politicians take care of the nation and fix things — at least they are supposed to. Architects take care of buildings. Designers take care of everything around us. Everything that is around us, this table, this chair, this lamp, this pen has been designed. All of these things, everything has been designed by somebody.

Profound words. Especially as I sit here in the offices of our Charlotte marketing agency looking up at a huge Stendig calender.

Designed in 1966 by Massimo Vignelli and immediately included into the Design collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, this beautiful and exquisitely produced calendar remains, 46 years later, an example of excellence in modern graphic design. A timeless way to measure time. Thanks for all your passion and inspiration, Mr. Vignelli.

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