Design Is One: Lella And Massimo Vignelli

Directed by Roberto Guerra, Kathy Brew
  • US
  • 79 minutes
  • 2013

One of the first and most dominant power couples of the design world is Lella and Massimo Vignelli, the influential creators of graphics, products, furniture, interiors, and jewellery for more than six decades. Lella and Massimo each have distinct creative voices and mediums, yet together both represent the same name and brand: Vignelli. Today in their 80s, the two’s CV includes a long list of iconic clients – Ford, Bloomingdale’s, the New York City subway. Now comes a career-capping documentary by Kathy Brew and Roberto Guerra, Design Is One.

Design Is One, a title that pinpoints where the Vignelli’s individual lives converge, is an illuminating tribute and biography. There are the requisite testaments with analysis by a cast that includes Richard Meier, Peter Eisenman, Milton Glaser, Paola Antonelli and others. Yet the most interesting talking heads are the Vignellis themselves, who reveal the temperaments and tension that have kept their partnership operating for so long. But despite their dogmas, their humanity is on display here as well. So are some juicy anecdotes.

Steven Heller
The Atlantic

‘[An] enthralling documentary’
Vanity Fair

‘For a design fan of any pedigree, Design Is One is not to be missed’
Dwell