The Five Vignelli-isms

March 24th, 2011

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.

Hit the jump to view each of the covers separately.

Posted by on 03/24/11 in Creativity & Thinking, Design, Education

6 COMMENTS   »  Leave your Comment

  1. Armando says:

    Beautiful… I want one!!!

  2. WOW I want one too…

  3. MNKR says:

    The fight isn’t against ugliness. The fight is against THE ugliness. Sometimes I regret learning about visual design. The majority of signs have never heard of kerning. It’s like hearing noise all the time. But you see it. And it’s so loud.

  4. Oskar Vivas says:


  5. Gaurav says:

    I love that guy.

  6. Alex Conway says:

    so cool it hurts.

    number 3 = emoticon :)

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