Lella Vignelli

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Lella Vignelli
Vignelli Center RIT.jpg
Lella (left) and Massimo Vignelli in front of the Vignelli Center for Design Studies at Rochester Institute of Technology in 2010.
Born Udine, Italy
Organization Vignelli Associates
Spouse(s) Massimo Vignelli

Lella Vignelli is the founder of Vignelli Associates and the wife of Massimo Vignelli. She has had "a lifelong collaborative working relationship" with her husband.[1] She is known to be the business arm of Vignelli Associates, and played a key role in the success of the design firm.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Lella Vignelli was born in Udine, Italy. She received a degree from the University of Venice's School of Architecture and a tuition fellowship as a special student at MIT's School of Architecture. In 1962, she became a registered architect in Milan.[4]


LelIa Vignelli is a frequent speaker and juror for national and international design organizations. She is a member of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), the International Furnishings and Designer Association (IFDA), and the Decorators Club of New York. [5]

She and her husband have been described as "iconic, impossibly exotic characters" in New York.[6] In 1972, the Vignellis designed a map for the New York subway system based on "abstract simplicity".[6] Their design firm has helped create branding for many companies including Knoll American Airlines, the Ford Motor Company, American Airlines and Bloomingdale's.[6]

In 1982 Lella Vignelli and her husband won the AIGA Medal.[3]

Vignelli Center for Design Studies[edit]

Massimo and Lella Vignelli agreed to donate the entire archive of their design work in 2008 to the Rochester Institute of Technology, near Rochester, New York.[7] The archive will be exhibited in a new building designed by Lella and Massimo Vignelli, to be k[2]nown as The Vignelli Center For Design Studies. The building, which opened in September 2010, includes among its many offerings exhibition spaces, classrooms, and offices.


  1. ^ Vit, Armin; Bryony Gomez Palacio (2009). Graphic Design, Referenced: A Visual Guide to the Language, Applications, and History of Graphic Design. Rockport Publishers. p. 160. ISBN 9781592534470. 
  2. ^ a b Conradi, Jan. "Looking Back, Thinking Forward: A Narrative of the Vignellis." Design Observer 9 September 2010.
  3. ^ a b Massimo and Lella Vignelli, AIGA website.
  4. ^ "Lella Vignelli". RIT Libraries. Rochester Institute of Technology. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  5. ^ http://www.vignelli.com/
  6. ^ a b c Lovine, Julie V. (October 21, 2007). "The Vignellis: In an instant, their pared-down designs—for the subway, Bloomingdale’s, American Airlines—conjure a particular moment in the city’s history.". New York (New York City). Retrieved September 1, 2012. 
  7. ^ Pogrebin, Robin (August 11, 2010). "Designers Donate Their Archives". New York Times (New York City).