Vignelli Center for Design Studies

Vignelli Center for Design Studies Home to the archives of Massimo and Lella Vignelli. The Vignelli Center is dedicated to advancing design excellence.
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If you were an architect on this date in 1988, you might have been in New York City attending the AIA (The American Inst...
05/17/2019

If you were an architect on this date in 1988, you might have been in New York City attending the AIA (The American Institute of Architects) National Convention and Design Exposition. Graphics designed by Vignelli Associates.

You could have attended sessions such as “Computer-Aided Design: Myth or Dream Unfulfilled?” or “100 years of Women in Architecture” or “Getting Published in Magazines.” You could have taken the tour “SoHo: Manhattan Moves Downtown” or bought $60 tickets to “Les Miserables” on Broadway.

Printed examples of graphics for AIA (American Institute of Architects) National Convention and Design Exposition, 1988
Box 78, Massimo and Lella Vignelli Papers
Vignelli Center for Design Studies
Rochester, New York

Poster for AIA (American Institute of Architects) National Convention and Design Exposition, 1988
Michael Bierut posters
Vignelli Center for Design Studies
Rochester, New York

#design #VignelliAssociates #MichaelBierut #AIA #1980s #DesignArchives #AmericanInstituteOfArchitects #poster #stationery #ConferenceProgram #programs #mailers #ExclamationPoint

The most common question we get asked is “Why is the Vignelli Center at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester...
05/16/2019

The most common question we get asked is “Why is the Vignelli Center at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY?” So we’re sharing stories from the archives about the Vignelli-RIT connection!

in 1987, RIT hosted a symposium called “80′s Style” and Massimo Vignelli was invited to be one of the speakers. We are thrilled that the Vignellis saved all this information about the symposium (even a few vintage brochures about RIT!) You can even see Massimo’s notes here on style:

“People Say:
I like that style
i don’t like that style.
Style is permanent
Style is transitory
to have a lot of style
not to have a lot of style…at all.
Fashion is fun - style is dull…
live in style.
life-style
stylish
style of the ‘80s”

“The speakers, focusing on style in architecture, art, design and the crafts, include Ettore Sottsass, Jr. (Italian architect and designer), Edward Lucie Smith (British author and critic), Massimo Vignelli (designer), Wendell Castle (furniture artist), and Albert Paley (sculptor).”

Read the whole RIT News & Events article here:
https://digitalarchive.rit.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1850/20224/NandE_Vol18Num13_1987_Mar12_Complete.pdf?sequence=1

During the symposium the RIT College of Art and Design's Bevier Gallery featured an exhibition of Albert Paley and Wendell Castle’s work, both were Artist-in-Residence at RIT at the time.

The whole symposium was recorded and the videotapes are preserved in the RIT Archive Collections!
https://twcarchivesspace.rit.edu/repositories/2/resources/572

We’ll be sharing more stories about the Vignelli-RIT connection. Stay tuned!

ICYMI, you can see our previous posts on the #VignelliConnection here: https://vignellicenter.tumblr.com/search/vignelliconnection

‘80′s Style symposium documentation, 1987
Box 593, Massimo and Lella Vignelli Papers
Vignelli Center for Design Studies
Rochester, New York

#vignelli #RochesterInstituteofTechnology #1980s #symposium #MassimoVignelli #design #DesignArchives #VignelliConnection #DesignHistory #rochester #EttoreSottsass #WendellCastle #AlbertPaley

It’s Manuals Monday! (Almost) Every Monday we feature an excerpt from a graphics standards manual from the archives.To...
05/06/2019

It’s Manuals Monday! (Almost) Every Monday we feature an excerpt from a graphics standards manual from the archives.

Today’s manual is for industrial water treatment equipment manufacturer, Ecodyne Corporation, designed circa 1972 by Unimark International. This Ecodyne logo is still in use today!

#unimark #ManualsMonday #StandardsManual #GraphicStandardsManual #GraphicDesign
#CorporateIdentity #1970s #modernism #ecodyne

On Manuals Monday, we shared some excerpts from the Memorex Corporate Identity Manual. As promised, here are some exampl...
05/01/2019

On Manuals Monday, we shared some excerpts from the Memorex Corporate Identity Manual. As promised, here are some examples of the Unimark International's designs for Memorex advertising!

Be sure to scroll through to see a bonus snippet of an article about the Memorex identity from Industrial Marketing trade magazine from November 1969 titled “Corporate Identity–– by design, not default.” And don’t miss the great vintage photo of Massimo Vignelli at work!

#unimark #vignelli #memorex #manualsmonday #standardsmanual #graphicdesign #corporateidentity #1960s #1970s #modernism #advertising #bydesign

It’s Manuals Monday! (Almost) Every Monday we feature an excerpt from a graphics standards manual from the archives.To...
04/29/2019

It’s Manuals Monday! (Almost) Every Monday we feature an excerpt from a graphics standards manual from the archives.

Today’s manual is for the magnetic tape and disk drive equipment manufacturer, Memorex, designed in 1970 by Unimark International. Remember their famous ad campaign for consumer audio cassette tapes "is it live or is it Memorex?" That campaign was launched just a few years after this corporate identity program by Unimark.

Unfortunately we only have a photocopied version of this manual. Stay tuned for some examples of Memorex advertising and other printed samples we have in the archives!

#unimark #vignelli #memorex #manualsmonday #standardsmanual #GraphicStandardsManual #graphicdesign #corporateidentity #1970s #modernism

Around 1976, Vignelli Associates designed this stationery for the new owner of the One Times Square building, including ...
04/26/2019

Around 1976, Vignelli Associates designed this stationery for the new owner of the One Times Square building, including an invitation to a fashion show. A fashion show and a cocktail party at 11am on the 22nd floor, that is.

Text from invitation:
“Alex Parker cordially invites you to join with Mrs. Abraham D. Beame and Jule Styne as Roselon Industries, creator of NYESTA, presents a capsule fashion show of “Rising Stars,” eight award winning designers who participate in National Press Week.

Then Fashion Show and Cocktail party will be held on the 22nd floor lounge at One Times Square, Broadway and 42nd Street, Tuesday August 12, 1976 at 11 am

Luncheon will follow at Act I on the 15th Floor“

This seems to be a small one-time project for the developer Alex Parker, but we haven’t found any other information about this project.

We would love to hear from you if you know anything about this project (or the 11am cocktail party and fashion show).

See the invitation GIF:
https://vignellicenter.tumblr.com/post/184465156827/vignelli-onetimessquare-elevenamcocktails

One Times Square invitation, RSVP card, and stationery, circa 1976
Box 149, Massimo and Lella Vignelli Papers
Vignelli Center for Design Studies
Rochester, New York

Massimo Vignelli designed many books for publisher Rizzoli International. In the late 1980s, he designed two books for S...
04/23/2019

Massimo Vignelli designed many books for publisher Rizzoli International. In the late 1980s, he designed two books for South African photographer, Margaret Courtney-Clarke. Here you can see the first one, Ndebele: The Art of an African Tribe. Photographs and text by Margaret Courtney-Clarke. Foreward by David Goldblatt. More stunning artwork captured in beautiful photographs in a gorgeously-designed book!

“The art of Africa is known as a casualty of colonial exploitation, surviving principally int eh museums of other continents, never seen by the people who created it. What appears among Africana artists today is regarded as a renaissance of a destroyed tradition.

Margaret Courtney-Clarke’s book is a revelation not of that renaissance but of a glorious continued existence, under the most destructive forms of physical and psychological hardship imaginable, of an artistic culture at the very center of life itself. The art of the Ndebele women is uniquely rooted int hat guardianship; its canvas is the shrine of the home, where children are conceived and reared and family life is housed in the spirit. The beauty of this book is unsurpassed in its combination of content and meaning. Its art is the art of life.”
–– Nadine Gordimer, winner Nobel Prize in Literature in 1991.

We shared the 2nd photography book Massimo Vignelli designed for Courtney-Clarke last week:
https://vignellicenter.tumblr.com/post/184279862782/vignelli-courtney-clarkeafricancanvas

Ndebele: The Art of an African Tribe, 1986
Box 42, Massimo and Lella Vignelli papers
Vignelli Center for Design Studies
Rochester Institute of Technology
Rochester, NY

#vignelli #design #designarchives #margaretcourtneyclark #ndebele #africanartists #womeninart #womeninphotography #bookdesign #graphicdesign #africanart #awards #southafrica

Massimo Vignelli designed many books for publisher Rizzoli International. In the late 1980s, he designed two books for S...
04/18/2019

Massimo Vignelli designed many books for publisher Rizzoli International. In the late 1980s, he designed two books for South African photographer, Margaret Courtney-Clarke. Here you can see the second one, African Canvas: The Art of West African Women. Photographs and text by Margaret Courtney-Clarke. Foreward by Maya Angelou. Stunning artwork captured in beautiful photographs in a gorgeously-designed book!

“The simple materials are forged into plastic designs which will be as temporary as the length of time between rainfalls, and with no lasting staying power against the insistent sun. These artists, however, do not seem to need promises of longevity, nor do they exhibit a craving for notice out of the ordinary. In fact, one of the most notable characteristics of house painting among West African women is the camaraderie found among the women sharing the creation of the design.”

“Courtney-Clarke traveled thousands of dusty miles to find these graceful women and their appealing art. I imagine her own internal journey was far longer, and even more dramatic. She is a modern woman, a modern white woman, although admittedly a unique and courageous one. She must have challenged to the end of her wits to make friends with women with whom she seemed to have so little in common. And be assured that friendships were made or these photographs would not be so immediate.”

“What is Africa to me? It is mysterious, it is exciting, and it has been made more wonderful and more knowable because of the women’s art. The women of West Africa and Margaret Courtney-Clarke.” –– Maya Angelou, May 1989

Stay tuned for a future post about the 1st book Massimo designed for Courtney-Clarke!

African Canvas: The Art of West African Women
Box 37, Massimo and Lella Vignelli papers
Vignelli Center for Design Studies
Rochester Institute of Technology
Rochester, NY

04/16/2019
Vignelli Center Design Conversations Lecture: Barbara Dixon

Weren't able to make our last Design Conversations lecture with Barbara Dixon? Or want to watch it again? Now you can watch online!

Barbara L. Dixon
Diversity in Design–Without Boundaries

recorded by RIT Production Services
Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019
4:45pm
University Gallery at RIT

Barbara L. Dixon’s diverse design career began in public relations. Bridging quickly into publishing, she became the architecture editor at Architectural Digest and then managing editor. She launched ELLE Decor in North America as the founding editor-in-chief for Hachette and was instrumental in developing and implementing the brand. Her communications career continued as launching and consulting editor-in-chief for MyHouse and then editorial director of Cottages & Gardens Publications. In Canada, she redesigned Style at Home before moving into broadcasting where she produced shows for HGTV, made appearances, and gave public lectures.

She has developed and implemented communications campaigns for companies, individuals and products in all areas of design, from art, antiques to interiors, architecture and fashion. Today her consulting business is as diverse as her past. She continues to provide content for publications. She writes, edits, styles for photography shoots, and manages interior design renovation projects.

Dixon’s Vignelli Center Design Conversations lecture will highlight the attributes that have been of utmost importance throughout her lifelong illustrious career.

Thank you to our generous sponsor Bailey Brand Consulting!

Rochester Insitute of Technology RIT College of Art and Design RIT Interior Design RIT Industrial Design RIT Graphic Design

https://vimeo.com/330591007

This is "Vignelli Center Design Conversations Lecture: Barbara Dixon" by RIT Production Services - Events on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and…

Last week we shared some unrealized designs by Unimark International for McDonald's restaurants and it garnered quite th...
04/12/2019

Last week we shared some unrealized designs by Unimark International for McDonald's restaurants and it garnered quite the attention!

Here's a look at a few more of Unimark's prototypes. Their designs caused mixed reactions: some of you loved it, some not so much.

Here's your chance to see what the designers at Unimark saw when they created these designs. Scroll though the images to see their vintage snapshots of an actual McDonald's restaurant and packaging from 1973.

In Unimark's notes for their presentation to McDonald's only one word was in all caps "STANDARDIZATION."

More from their notes: They considered "you deserve a break today" to be an excellent slogan, but suggested that McDonald's remove the number of hamburgers sold from their signs. "Number has become so large that it is meaningless."

ICYMI, here's a link to the 1st McDonald's post:
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bv2E9K1n6dn/

#Mcdonalds #designarchives #unimark #1970s #packaging #graphicdesign #designhistory #standardization #somanyhamburgers

More design archives in the news!Last week we shared designs for McDonald's by Unimark International from 1973 which wer...
04/11/2019
Your McDonald's meal could have looked very different if these designs from the 70s had been picked

More design archives in the news!

Last week we shared designs for McDonald's by Unimark International from 1973 which were never implemented. It spurred quite a reaction!

#archives #designhistory #unimark #1970s #designarchives #helvetica #packaging #mcdonalds #nevermade

https://www.thesun.co.uk/sun-men/8840534/mcdonalds-1970s-packaging-designs-unimark-international/

Rochester Institute of Technology RIT College of Art and Design

YOUR McDonald’s dinner could have been completely unrecognisable if the fast food giant had gone with a design agency’s radical plans in the 1970s. Forty-six years ago, Unimark Internat…

Last week we shared designs for McDonald's by Unimark International from 1973 which were never implemented. It spurred q...
04/10/2019
McDonald’s rejected designs from the ’70s could have completely changed the way the fast-food cha...

Last week we shared designs for McDonald's by Unimark International from 1973 which were never implemented. It spurred quite a reaction!

Read more about it in Business Insider Singapore.

#archives #designhistory #unimark #1970s #designarchives #helvetica #packaging #mcdonalds #nevermade

Rochester Institute of Technology RIT College of Art and Design

Employees at Rochester Institute of Technology's Vignelli Center for Design Studies found prototypes from a 1973 pitch to overhaul McDonald's image.

Please join us for our next Design Observations event!Michael RennerTed DavisHow Images and Media Create MeaningWednesda...
04/08/2019

Please join us for our next Design Observations event!

Michael Renner
Ted Davis
How Images and Media Create Meaning

Wednesday
10 April 2019
3:30–4:30pm
Hamlyn Study Room
4th floor
Vignelli Center for Design Studies
[enter through the University Gallery, Booth Hall]

Michael Renner experienced the digital revolution first-hand working for Apple Computer and The Understanding Business in California in 1986, just after completing his education at the Basel School of Design. In 1999 he was named chairman of the Visual Communication Institute, The Basel School of Design.

Ted Davis is an American media designer based in Basel, Switzerland, where he teaches interaction design and coordinates the UIC/HGK International Master of Design program within the Visual Communication Institute, The Basel School of Design.

Critical approaches are omnipresent in the discourse of the design field addressing economic, social, political and ecological challenges we are facing today.

Today, imagery and media channels are instrumental in the way we perceive our world. They are essential in shaping our opinion, in how we exchange information and how we organize our social exchange. But what do we know about images and media in comparison to the discourse on language, which reaches back to antiquity? This lecture will examine a practice-led approach to contribute to our understanding of how images and media create effective meaning.

Interpreting available on request myaccess.rit.edu

Thank you for visiting!
04/05/2019

Thank you for visiting!

Things have been very busy lately in the Department of Art! On April 2nd, Michelle Lockwood’s ‘Branding & Identity’ class travelled to the Vignelli Center for Design Studies at Rochester Institute of Technology (R.I.T.,) where they toured the Vignelli archives, saw an exhibition of design work by Steff Geissbühler, a permanent on-campus mural by Josef Albers, and an exhibition of Albers work in the Cary Graphic Arts Collection. A highlight of the day was seeing their faces as we stepped into the small letterpress ‘museum,’ within the Cary Collection. And, of course, the look on Kaitlin Tewell’s face as she held an actual cuneiform tablet, dating back 5000 years!
What a great group to take exploring.

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73 Lomb Memorial Dr
Rochester, NY
14623-5603

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(585) 475-2839

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