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Design is One, Lella and Massimo Vignelli (2012) is a documentary that tells the story of one of the design world’s greatest partnerships, Lella and Massimo Vignelli. Created in 2012, the film serves as a retrospective of their career in design. From their first client, Knoll, to
their current (and second) redesign of New York City subway map, the viewer is given a gateway into how their work developed over time.
One of the strongest parts of the film is the great care that is taken to showcase Lella as an equal contributor to the design process. Often, Massimo has been portrayed in the design world as the primary force in their work, with many unaware how significant
Lella has been to his success. Not only partners in work, but in life, the couple has been married for over fifty years, and they attribute their common interest in design to the success of their relationship, saying that if they had separate careers, they
would have nothing to talk about. Design is One reveals that their work relationship works well because each one’s personality complements the other. As Lella puts it so eloquently in the film, “Massimo is the dreamer and I have the reality.” With
this, the pair has seen enormous success by creating stunning designs that not only solve design challenges but also delight viewers.
Design aficionados will appreciate the appearances by many great designers who have worked in collaboration with them. Michael Donovan, who was the ‘associates’ part of Vignelli & Associates for years, appears throughout the film. Former clients and many
notable designers appear in the film, including Milton Glaser, Michael Bierut, Paula Scher, Steven Heller, Jessica Helfand and many more. It is clear that their peers in the design world and their clients have great respect for the Vignellis and their work.
This film has a lot to offer in terms of educating designers both new and old alike. One of the most visually dynamic parts of the film is when the grids in Massimo’s design layouts are depicted and broken down on screen. Seeing the framework provides great
insight in to the mind of the designer, and it is awe inspiring to see how these designs are built. A strength of the film is its demonstration that modernist work need not be rigid and unmoving and that perhaps all any designer needs are ten typefaces to
choose from (maybe even less) to create successful work.
As true innovators in design, the Vignellis believe in “Vision, Courage, and Determination” and with these characteristics they’ve left their mark on the world of design, a legacy portrayed with thoroughness and visual flair in
Design Is One.
Design is One is available as an institutional DVD for $295 (AIGA Members receive a 15% discount on this rate).
Video: AIGA Medalist Bill Moggridge
About this video
Bill Moggridge was recognized with the AIGA Medal
for a career and life shaped by the tenets of design thinking—and for his belief that the designer’s ultimate role lies in negotiating the relationship
between people and things.
Section: Inspiration -
AIGA Medal, interview
Remember when summer vacation meant three months of care-free days? The AIGA Baltimore board members remember, too, so we’re taking this July off for some much needed R&R. We'll see you in August, though!
I’ve seen it dozens of
times. A design team meets after observing people use their design, and they’re
excited and energized by what they saw and heard during the sessions. They’re
all charged up about fixing the design. Everyone comes in with ideas, certain they
have the right solution to remedy users’ frustrations. Then what happens?
Section: Tools and Resources
Alec Dudson on the new issue of Intern magazine, which looks at education
Posted by Maisie Skidmore
18 hours ago from
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Taking a Vacation
July 01, 2015
Designer (Mid-level) – Von Design Company
June 24, 2015