Massimo Vignelli, ‘Four Purple Handkerchief Armchairs’, 1985, Heritage Auctions
Massimo Vignelli, ‘Four Purple Handkerchief Armchairs’, 1985, Heritage Auctions

Condition Report: Minor scuffing to the seats and seat backs, light nicking to the crest rails, otherwise with light surface wear indicative of age and use.

Signature: Molded manufacturer information and label to the undersides

Image rights: Courtesy of Heritage Auctions

Manufacturer: Knoll International

About Massimo Vignelli

Massimo Vignelli shaped the visual landscape of mid-century America and created designs that we continue to encounter to this day. In collaboration with his wife Lella, the Italian designer established now-familiar corporate identities for companies such as American Airlines, Knoll International, and Bloomingdales. He also designed the network of signage used to navigate the New York City subway. In use since 1972, Vignelli’s wayfinding system identifies subway lines by numbers and letters set within colored circles, and his graphic signs feature highly legible white-on-black text intended to help millions find their way across the city. Vignelli’s clean, grid-based compositions, dynamic application of color, and commitment to sans-serif typefaces set a standard for American graphic design, particularly in public institutions, and established Helvetica as the country’s most ubiquitous font.

Italian, 1931-2014

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