The Five Vignelli-isms

On the evening of Tuesday, March 8, The Architectural League gave its President’s Medal to Lella and Massimo Vignelli. The award (past recipients of which include John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Hugh Ferriss, Joseph Urban, Richard Meier, Robert A.M. Stern, and Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown) was given to the Vignellis “in recognition of a body of work so influential in its breadth that it has shaped the very way we see the world.”

Pentagram’s Michael Bierut, an Architectural League vice president who began his career over 30 years ago as a junior designer at Vignelli Associates, designed the the program we see here. The five different covers featured a quote from Vignelli printed in PMS Super Warm Red and set in Helvetica of course.

So why are these five Vignelli-isms important?

When I first came across this I immediately saw five lessons to live by rather than just five miscellaneous quotes. They appear self explanatory but read each and give it a moment alone in your mind:

One life is too short for doing everything.

We like design to be visually powerful, intellectually elegant,
and above all timeless.

If you can design one thing, you can design everything.

If you do it right, it will last forever.

The life of a designer is a life of fight against the ugliness.

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11 Comments Leave A Comment


Amanda says:

March 29, 2011 at 7:18 am

They forgot the sixth, and most troublesome, Vignelli-ism.

6. Design should be Helvetica. It’s always the solution. Always.