One of my favorite recent essays was about a subway map. The original version of it was published at Design Observer in 2004, but the author expanded it for that book I keep mentioning all the goddamn time, which I read last year. The great thing about the online version is that it has reader comments, including a neat exchange between the author and one of the 2Blowhards about visual poetry and the utility of design.
Bierut’s essay was the first exposure I had to the work of Massimo Vignelli. That is, it was the first time I’d read his name; it turns out I’ve seen his work all my life, in various corporate logos and other pieces of design: Bloomingdale’s, American Airlines, Bennetton, and others.
This morning, taking a break from playing around with the iPhone (a.k.a. one of the finest pieces of design I’ve ever seen), I caught up with New York Magazine‘s issue on Design Revolutionaries, which I’ve been saving for a while (for some reason, the website refers to it as “Home Design”). It turned out that its feature on Vignelli and his wife Lella was minuscule — Martha Stewart received a much longer piece — but it did include a large replica of the (in)famous subway map, so that was nice to see.
More importantly, its splash-photo shows that the Vignellis’ home on the upper east side is the greatest apartment I’ve ever seen in my life:
(Photo by Dean Kaufman)
Seriously: those windows are TWENTY FEET HIGH.
So, even though it’s not like he needs my money, I ordered a copy of Vignelli From A to Z off Amazon today.