Ambidextrous as he was in many disciplines of design, Massimo Vignelli spoke of the profession with the same degree of precision he used in his work.
Vignelli, who died Tuesday at his Manhattan home at the age of 83, left his mark on Bloomingdale’s, the New York City subway map and American Airlines’ logo (though the latter insisted he include the eagle). Rather than have one métier, he excelled in many — interiors, environments, packaging, graphic design, furniture, books and products. Known to work firmly within the modernist tradition, he zeroed in on simplicity by using basic geometric forms in all of his work. He even designed his own clothes — all-black, all elegant. Few New Yorkers pushing 80 could pull off his interpretation of black tie — a black capelike jacket, black tie and pants.
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"