Review: The Age of Information

“We brought discipline to design.’ 
‘We are systematic, logical and objective – not trendy.
Trends kill the soul of design.

This quote, by Massimo Vignelli, piqued my interest and I adore how designers like him use a modern approach to solve design problems. Massimo Vignelli is a famous designer who has practising design in New York for nearly 50 years, during which time he has made a big impact on all forms of design, from graphic design, to furniture, to clothing; all thanks to his design methodology. Vignelli paved the way for visual communication with his methodology. Having to reject the idea of trendy IS design and design should be a change motivated from within.

Vignelli has countless outstanding works; corporate identity works for Gilette, Knoll Associates, American Airlines and New York Transit Authority. 

Piccolo Teatro di Milano 1964

American Airlines logo (left), Knoll Associates (right).

Another quote from him is, “We want to make it clear that we are not commercial artists, illustrators or advertising designers. We are information architects who structure information. Like architecture, what we do is not only structural but it is also appearance and visual form.”

He explains “information design” clearly and establishes his stand on the roles of a designer. What he said, made a lot of sense to me. And I think many people, and even designers, overlook the significance of how information is being constructed so concisely with thought and meticulously. For Vignelli, the focus was never on the aesthetics, It was about solving problems and recognizing the needs of people.

The next article, focusing on the rise of corporate identity, evidently shows Vignelli’s design-with-purpose methodology and how his way of thinking aligns with the creation of corporate identity. The “visual image” we get from a brand can be affected by many factors; society, media, brand consistency and identity etc. Very likely, brands with consistent and good brand identity, are successful or at least, on their way to becoming successful. These visual materials are what consumers feed on; they see, they observe and they retain information. The better the companies are in “constructing” their information and their brand identity, the stronger the impact.


Leave a Reply