The Vignelli Canon by Massimo Vignelli

In 2014 we sadly lost one of designs true pioneers Massimo Vignelli. In 2011 I had the great pleasure to meet Massimo. He had re branded one of South Africa's largest retailers who were also clients of the business that I was creative director for. I had been kindly invited to Massimo's Cape Town leg of his 80th birthday that coincided with the Design Indaba. It's not everyday you get to meet one of your heroes and this meeting will always stay with me.

Vignelli was a master of design and employed the use of simplicity and restraint through the use of basic geometric forms. His broad, multi discipline body of work includes everything from, household products, packaging, way finding and signage, but is best known for his branding work for the likes of Bloomingdales, Knoll and United Colours of Benetton. Vignelli's principle was, "If you can design one thing, you can design everything,"

Vignelli moved to New York in 1966 and founded Unimark International, which became one of the largest design companies in the world. Here he designed the branding for American Airlines and the iconic signage for the New York Subway. In 1971 Vignelli founded Vignelli Associates with his wife Lella and where he was to employ Michael Bierut.

Massimo Vignelli's Cannon is a book for which I tell everyone that works for me in my design studio to read. I am often asked what fonts to use or how to use grids and this book is an essential handbook to refer back to. I can highly recommend what I call an essential handbook for any young designer entering into the industry.

An Overview of the book

The famous Italian designer Massimo Vignelli allows us a glimpse of his understanding of good design in this book, its rules and criteria. He uses numerous examples to convey applications in practice from product design via signaletics and graphic design to Corporate Design. By doing this he is making an important manual available to young designers that in its clarity, both in terms of subject matter and visually, is entirely committed to Vignelli's modern design.

If your a designer, then there really is no reason for not reading this hand book. Do yourself a huge favor and click here to download the PDF for free... Yes free!!!

Click here to order on Amazon.


Todd Anderson is an award winning British designer, currently based in Cape Town he has worked with some of the worlds largest retailers and hosehold brand names.