He came to the United States from 1957 to 1960 on fellowships from Towle Silversmiths in Massachusetts and the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. In 1960, with Lella Vignelli, he established the Vignelli
Office of Design and Architecture in Milan.
In 1965, Massimo Vignelli became co-founder and design director of Unimark
International Corporation. With Lella Vignelli, he established the offices of Vignelli Associates in 1971, and Vignelli Designs in 1978. His work includes graphic and corporate identity programs, publication designs, architectural graphics, and exhibition, interior, furniture, and consumer product designs for many leading American and European companies and institutions.
Mr. Vignelli has had his work published and exhibited throughout the world and
entered in the permanent collections of several museums; notably, the Museum of
Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the
Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York; the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Montreal; and the Die Neue Sammlung in Munich. Mr. Vignelli has taught and lectured on design in the major cities and universities in the United States and abroad.
He is a past president of the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGl) and the
American Institute of Graphic Arts (AlGA), a vice president of the Architectural
League, and a member of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA).
Two feature-length television programs on the Vignellis’ work have been aired
worldwide. A monographic exhibition of the Vignellis’ work toured Europe between 1989 and 1993, and was featured in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Helsinki, London, Budapest, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Munich, Prague and Paris.
Among Massimo Vignelli’s many awards:
1964, Gran Premio Triennale di Milano.
1964, 1998 Compasso d’Oro, from (ADI), Italian Association for Industrial Design.
1973, Industrial Arts Medal of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
1982, New York Art Directors Club Hall of Fame.
1983, AlGA Gold Medal.
1985, the first Presidential Design Award, presented by President Ronald Reagan,
for the National Park Service Publications Program.
1988, the Interior Design Hall of Fame.
1991, the National Arts Club Gold Medal for Design.
1992, the Interior Product Designers Fellowship of Excellence.
1993, New York State Governor’s Award for Excellence
1995, the Brooklyn Museum Design Award for Lifetime Achievement.
1996, Honorary Royal Designer for Industry Award, Royal Society of Arts, London.
2003, the National Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Museum of
Design at Cooper-Hewitt, New York.
2004, the Visionary Award from the Museum of Art and Design, New York.
2005, Architecture Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, NY.
He has also been awarded:
1994, Honorary Doctorate in Architecture from the University of Venice, Italy
and Honorary Doctorates in Fine Arts from:
1982, Parsons School of Design, New York
1987, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York
1988, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island
1994, Corcoran School of Art, Washington D.C.
2000, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California
2002, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York