The life of a designer is a life of fight. Fight against the ugliness. Just like a doctor fights against disease. For us, the visual disease is what we have around, and what we try to do is cure it somehow with design.

— Massimo Vignelli

The most competitive Massimo Vignelli quotes that will activate your desire to change

Good design is a matter of discipline.

It starts by looking at the problem and collecting all the available information about it. If you understand the problem, you have the solution. It’s really more about logic than imagination.


There is no design without discipline. There is no discipline without intelligence.


Styles come and go. Good design is a language, not a style.


You can reach timelessness if you look for the essence of things and not the appearance. The appearance is transitory — the appearance is fashion, the appearance is trendiness — but the essence is timeless.


If you can design one thing, you can design everything.


I see graphic design as the organization of information that is semantically correct, syntactically consistent and pragmatically understandable.


You do design because you feel it inside;

you have a moral issue to spread quality in our environment.


A grid is like underwear, you wear it but it's not to be exposed.


Graphic Design is the communication of information in an appropriate visual manner.


Intellectual elegance [is] a mind that is continually refining itself with education and knowledge. Intellectual elegance is the opposite of intellectual vulgarity.


In the new computer age, the proliferation of typefaces and type manipulations represents a new level of visual pollution threatening our culture. Out of thousands of typefaces, all we need are a few basic ones, and trash the rest.


Design is not art. Design is utilitarian, art is not.


About Massimo Vignelli

Quotes 50 sayings
Profession Designer

Don't be governed by the grid, govern the grid.

A grid is like a lion cage - if the trainer stays too long it gets eaten up. You have to know when to leave the cage - you have to know when to leave the grid.


Good design is ubiquitous and forever.


The life of a designer is a life of fight: fight against the ugliness.


There are people that thinks that type should be expressive.

They have a different point of view from mine.


In design, be logical, search for truth, be clear.


The repercussion of ugliness is endless.


Greed is really the religion of vulgarity.


One life is too short for doing everything.


The pencil you leave it there, and it's dead.

It doesn't do anything and it doesn't move by itself. It doesn't offer anything; it's totally submissive to you.


I'm not a designer, I'm a sifter. I can sift everything, all the time. My sift level lines keep shaking all the time for everything that is around.


I grew up with a pencil. A pencil was my computer at the time and so drawing, drawing, drawing and the tools of drawing where the usual ones and eventually then you graduated from the tools when the work increases and you start to draw by freehand as precise as possible and as accurate as possible, and I was pretty good at that.


If you do the best thing everyday of your life, but nothing shakes you nor shakes the table for you and others, it is stale and its not worth it.


The scale relates to everything. The thickness of a pipe, the thickness of a leg of the furniture. Even color could have a scale.


Middle management is a disease.


...if all people doing desktop publishing were doctors we would all be dead!


Men's clothing hasn't changed in 200 years, maybe a lapel gets a little wider or a tie gets narrower from time to time. But it's usually always the same. There is stupidity in men's fashion. But women know who they are. They can change. Clothing is seductive for women. They get different personas by buying new clothes. But men don't.


I started very early. I started to be interested in design when I was 14 years old, basically, and before I was just like anybody else, any other kid. I was playing with everything. I loved to do stage sets by cutting a piece of board and making a cut in three sides, flipping it down, making the stage.


The computer is really like a pencil, you know.

It used to be. The pencil can do anything you want to, but you have to do it, and the same is with the computer.


The computer needs...even by accident, offers incredible beautiful things that are very seductive. And if you forget about, or if you don't have an idea to begin with, it is very easy to be seduced and that is not a good use of the computer.


If you do it right, it will last forever


It is better to starve than get a bad client.


A designer without a sense of history is worth nothing


You cannot play the piano by telling a pianist what to do, go a little more to the left or to the right. And the same is for the computer, really. You have to play yourself to get the most out of it.


I like it to be visually powerful, intellectually elegant, and above all, timeless.


Scale is extremely important. Scale is not dimensions. Dimensions are physical and scales are mental.


If you paint a building shocking pink, that has no scale, it is just a huge mistake, but it's not in the scale of the city to have things like that. You know. So, not only because it's not appropriate, not only because it's offensive to the environment, I mean but among them also because that quantity of that color in the urban scale, is out of scale.


I don't think that type should be expressive at all.

I can write the word 'dog' with any typeface and it doesn't have to look like a dog. But there are people that [think that] when they write 'dog' it should bark.


So what is design all about? It [exists to] decrease the amount of vulgarity in the world ... to make the world a better place to be. It doesn’t have to be one style. We’re not talking about style, we’re talking about quality. Style is tangible, quality is intangible. I am talking about giving to everything that surrounds us a level of quality.


Scale is a mental - you can say that a lounger has scale, a building has scale, or an object has scale, or a page, or whatever if it's just right. A scale is a relationship to the object and the space surrounding it. And that dialogue could be music, or it could be just noise. And that is why it is so important, the sense of scale.


The first thing you need to make clear to a client is that you aren't there to answer his wants but to answer his needs.


Any color works if you push it to the extreme.


The only way to stay in fashion is never be in.

If you are never in fashion, you are never out of fashion.


Designers take care of everything around us.

Everything that is around us, this table, this chair, this lamp, this pen has been designed. All of these things, everything has been designed by somebody.


It’s not important to develop your own style but your own approach.


I started to begin to be interested in architecture and design when I was 14 years old, which was pretty early in life. And then I would start to look at architectural magazines and I eventually went to the school of architecture too, but one of the things I learned very early is that an architect should be able to design anything from a spoon to the city.


Design without discipline is anarchy, an exercise of irresponsibilit y.


Most of the manufacturers they tend to design things to sell they are more interested in the money side than anything else.