Saturday, 25 September 2010

massimo vignelli

I found an extremely interesting interview with Massimo Vignelli on Design Observer, which is a great website for anyone interested in design, art, and culture. MV is interviewed by Debbie Millman. The interview is about 30 minutes long and they cover his career and talk about typefaces, vulgar design and more. According to Massimo, "A designer without sense of history is worth nothing."

This September, the printed version of The Vignelli Canon was published (see the online version in my next blog post) and the Vignelli Center for Design Studies at Rochester Institute of Technology was opened. Here is an interesting article on Massimo and his wife Lella Vignelli by Jan Conradi, who covers their careers and the new Vignelli Center for Design Studies.

Back to the interview. Massimo has a strong opinion on the use of typefaces. He talks about a few basic ones which he always uses – he's a big fan of Bodoni – and says that we don't really need all the other ones, referring to them as junk.

screenshot: The Vignelli Canon, online version, page 29 
Everything Massimo talks about in this interview is worth paying attention to. I love it when he says, "Commercial things are done by people that want to exploit other people and couldn't care less about quality." And it's just priceless to hear what he has to say about marketing people: "As a general category I despise them." Then he talks further about their lack of creative solutions. (Here is another interview with MV in written form by DM where he, among other things, shares his opinion on market research.)

photo via Design Observer


  1. Very interesting! And I never used Bodoni but will try it if I get stuck with fonts sometime :)
    I am a big fan of Georgia myself, think it works so well both online and for print!

  2. I guess I was doing something Massimo-right when I chose helvetica for my blog posts and times roman for the column to the right ;-)

    To me the consistency is what matters the most. I think there are many beautiful fonts out there but some people get them all mixed up and don't get me started on the bloggers out there who use comic sans! I can't even read those!


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