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Massimo and Lella Vignelli

Massimo Vignelli and Lella Vignelli’s legacy can be seen everywhere in the logos of Bloomingdale’s, Ford and American Airlines, among others. In addition to their work in branding, they were prolific creators of modernist home furnishings, products and interiors, and the duo’s collaborations, which span 50 years, have left a profound mark on design and wider visual culture.

After meeting in Italy, Lella (1934–2016) and Massimo (1931–2014) began working together in 1961 and a decade later formed Vignelli Associates in New York. A self-described “information architect,” Massimo was committed to streamlining complex ideas into clear, visually arresting forms. (Witness the graphic identity that he cocreated with Bob Noorda for the New York City Transit Authority as well as his influential 1972 subway map.) The Vignellis’ most recognizable piece, for example, may be the Handkerchief chair, a stackable office chair made of compression-molded plastic that has the look of a cloth floating in air. It was created for Knoll in 1983 after they designed the brand’s logo.

Evidence of the couple’s influence can also be found in their Saratoga line (1964), the first collection of lacquered furniture, which helped herald in the trendy “glossy” look of the decade (and beyond). When the Vignellis created the Poltrona Frau Interview chair in 1988 for an Italian television station, it became widely sought after, “which goes to show you the power of the TV media,” the couple once said. Much like their elemental graphic designs, the Kono (1984) and Pisa tables (1985) — both created for Casigliani — cull the form of the table down to geometric shapes.

Vignelli furniture is often labeled as Massimo Vignelli’s alone, though he fought to have Lella recognized for her work, even throwing away magazines that neglected to give her due credit. As he wrote of their lifelong collaboration in his book Designed By: Lella Vignelli: “It is not holding a pencil with four hands that makes a partnership; it is sharing the creative act and exercising creative criticism which is reflected in the end result.”

Find vintage Massimo and Lella Vignelli seating, tables and other furniture today on 1stDibs.

1960s MoMA Heller Design Summer 11 Blue Plastic Plates Massimo & Lella Vignelli
By Massimo and Lella Vignelli
Located in National City, CA
1964 MoMA Massimo & Lella Vignelli 11 Stackable Blue Plates Heller Design Large 9.75 x 1 tall (6 plates) Small 7.5 diameter x .75 tall (5 plates) Stamped by maker. Preowned vint...
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Massimo and Lella Vignelli

Materials

Plastic

Red & White Supreme Bowls by Vignelli for Heller, Set of 12
By Heller, Supreme, Massimo and Lella Vignelli
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Winner of the prestigious Compasso d'Oro award for Good Design in 1964, Massimo Vignelli's iconic dinnerware for Heller (likely designed with his equally talented wife Lella) has bee...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Modern Massimo and Lella Vignelli

Materials

Plastic

Vintage Sofa Saratoga by Massimo and Lella Vignelli, 1970
By Massimo and Lella Vignelli
Located in Roma, IT
Vintage Sofa "Saratoga" by Massimo and Lella Vignelli for Poltronova, 1970. Lacquered wood and orange leather. Good condition except for some scratches on arms, particularly l...
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1970s Italian Vintage Massimo and Lella Vignelli

Materials

Leather, Wood

"Metaphora" Black Marquina Marble & Glass Coffee Table by Lella & M. Vignelli
By Massimo and Lella Vignelli
Located in Firenze, Tuscany
Impressive metaphora coffee table in very good condition and with a great patina! This coffee table was designed by Lella & Massimo Vignelli in 1979. Four forms of the Euclidean geometry, the cube, the cylinder, the sphere and the pyramid, made of black marquina marble, represent the basis of the table. The marble forms support a thick clear glass top of 1,5 cm. The four elements are independent and can be positioned freely, without the table losing its own identity regardless the position of the elements it consists of. Lella Vignelli (born Elena Valle, August 13, 1934 – December 22, 2016) was an Italian architect, designer, and businesswoman. She collaborated closely throughout much of her life with her husband Massimo Vignelli, with whom she founded Vignelli Associates in 1971. She was known for the "spare, elegant style" of her architectural and Industrial Design work, as well as her management skills and entrepreneurial expertise. She is famously quoted as saying that, "If you do it right, it will last forever." Starting in the mid-1950s, Lella Vignelli's professional concentration was interior, furniture, and product design. She was also involved in the formation of the ADI (Associazione per il Disegno Industriale), an Italian professional design organization which was founded in 1956. Some of the Vignellis' notable designs from this period are their brand identity commissions for clients such as Knoll International, for which they led a comprehensive review of the company's visual presence starting in 1965; the graphic identity and logo of American Airlines, designed in 1967; as well the design of as a collection of melamine plastic stacking dinnerware for Articoli Plastici Elettrici in 1964 (later marketed in America by Heller). The Vignelli Stacking Dinnerware was still in production in 2023, nearly 60 years after it was first introduced. In 1971, the Vignellis established Vignelli Associates and opened offices in New York, Paris, and Milan. The firm's commissions included corporate identity programmes for Bloomingdale's department store in 1972, Lancia automobiles in 1978, and Ducati motorcycles in 1992, as well as the signage system for the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in 1997. Lella continued to focus on the three-dimensional design work of the practice, and also served as Chief Executive. In 1978, the Vignellis founded Vignelli Designs, a separate company which focused on product and furniture design, and for which Lella served as president. Their furniture designs included the Handkerchief chair for Knoll (1985); the Serenissimo table...
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1970s Italian Modern Vintage Massimo and Lella Vignelli

Materials

Marble

Pair of Massimo & Lella Vignelli "Saratoga" Cube Chairs for Poltronova
By Poltronova, Massimo and Lella Vignelli
Located in Long Island City, NY
Massimo and Lella Vignelli's "Saratoga" cube chair manufactured by Poltronova, Italy. The chair features a wood base that has a thick polyester lacquer and finished with brown distre...
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20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Massimo and Lella Vignelli

Materials

Fabric, Acrylic, Wood

Massimo Vignelli Sigaro Pendant Lamps Venini Italy 1950s
By Paolo Venini, Massimo and Lella Vignelli
Located in London, GB
Opaline glass pendant lamp with colored bands also known as the "Sigaro" model 4035 Designed by Massimo Vignelli for Venini Murano glass 1954-1955.  
Category

1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Massimo and Lella Vignelli

Materials

Blown Glass

Mid-Century Modern "Metaphora" Coffee Table by Massimo Et Lella Vignelli
By Massimo and Lella Vignelli
Located in Brussels, BE
Mid-Century Modern "Metaphora" coffee table by Massimo et Lella Vignelli for Martinelli Luce.
Category

1970s Italian Vintage Massimo and Lella Vignelli

Materials

Travertine

Divano Saratoga di Poltronova anni 70 struttura laccata e cuscini in pelle
By Massimo and Lella Vignelli
Located in Milano, MI
Saratoga è il divano disegnato nel 1964 da Lella & Massimo Vignelli per Poltronova con struttura in legno laccato al poliestere lucido nero e cuscini sfoderabili di piuma rivestiti in pelle cognac. La struttura rigida, realizzata mediante assemblaggio di quattro elementi di uguale spessore, con angoli smussati, accoglie cuscini di seduta leggermente sporgenti. Sono sedute da porre al centro dello spazio in quano dotate di una rifinitura molto elegante anche sul retro. L’essenzialità della forma, abbinata alla precisione del disegno e alla raffinatezza di finiture e dettagli, rende il design di Lella e...
Category

1970s Italian Modern Vintage Massimo and Lella Vignelli

Materials

Faux Leather, Wood, Lacquer

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Massimo And Lella Vignelli furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

Massimo and Lella Vignelli furniture are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of glass and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of Massimo and Lella Vignelli furniture, although black editions of this piece are particularly popular. We have 73 vintage editions of these items in-stock, while there is 15 modern edition to choose from as well. Many of the original furniture by Massimo and Lella Vignelli were created in the mid-century modern style in italy during the 20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Giovanni Offredi, Gionathan de Pas & Donato D’Urbino & Paolo Lomazzi, and Vivai del Sud. Prices for Massimo and Lella Vignelli furniture can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at £180 and can go as high as £30,093, while a piece like these, on average, fetch £5,406.

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