250 online posters to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Massimo Vignelli

Vignelli90 is an initiative to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the great Italian graphic designer, who died in 2014. With a riot of Helvetica and new interpretations of the New York subway map.

Shweta Malhotra, India

Born in Milan in 1931 – and died in New York in 2014, after a lifetime spent in the USA with his wife Lella, an architect – the designer made graphics and typeface research among the pillars of good design.  

Thus – by means of a website and an Instagram profile launched on 10 January 2022 (the designer’s birthday) – Vignelli90 wanted to celebrate Massimo Vignelli’s work, approach and concept by asking the community to send a poster representing their own idea or interpretation of the Vignelli-thought. 

Among the posters, Vignelli’s favourite typeface, Helvetica, is frequently used. He enjoyed reproducing it by hand with the utmost precision during his train journeys with Bob Noorda. Therefore, there are flat colours and very accurate grids. And, of course, there are several new interpretations of the much disputed (and legendary) New York Subway Map, with its unmistakable 45 and 90 degree slanted lines.


250 posters arrived from designers and graphic designers representing 46 different countries, proving that Massimo Vignelli’s modern rigour inspires graphic designers from every culture every day. Design is one, Vignelli used to say, knowing how to design is a mental process, regardless of the medium and destination.

Today the collected posters have been published online, in a virtual exhibition that aims at creating a reflection on Massimo Vignelli’s extremely topical legacy.

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