Iconic graphic designer Massimo Vignelli, who created a version of the New York City subway map and coined these timeless “phrases to live by”, has passed away in his Manhattan home on Tuesday, May 27, at age 83.
He had a long, prolific and illustrious career that was spent creating a diverse body of work, from book covers and retail packaging to furniture and brand identities. A legend in the industry, he is best known for his distinct design aesthetic that is based on the “ideal of functional beauty”.
Having produced work for famous brands like Gillette, IBM and American Airlines, he is remembered by many as the creator of a controversial NYC subway map that was introduced in 1972—while many riders thought that this map does not adequately represent the city, others found it to be a work of art. Architecture critic Paul Goldberger described it as a “a nearly canonical piece of abstract graphic design”.
The great Vignelli is survived by his wife, Lella; his son, Luca; his daughter, Valentina Vignelli Zimmer; and three grandchildren.
Head over to The New York Times to read more about his life and work.