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Photo: Asheind

“Styles come and go. Good design is a language, not a style.” That quote by Massimo Vignelli elegantly summed up his philosophy of design — and, by the way, what did he do that was not elegantly done?

Mr. Vignelli died yesterday at the age of 83 after a long illness. Born in Milan and trained as an architect in Milan and Venice, he was an admirer of Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe, and spent a lifetime translating the concept of “functional beauty” into everything he designed. He was the leading “modernist” graphic designer, striving for disciplined, intelligent and simplified solutions based on timeless geometric forms. A biography accompanying the presentation of the AIGA Medal to he and his wife states:  “Vignelli design, in both three dimensions and two, is highly architectural in character. Massimo’s posters, publications and graphic designs seem to be built in stories, separated by the now-familiar, bold, horizontal rules. Basic geometry is respected. The investigative design process moves from the inside out: ‘The correct shape is the shape of the object’s meaning.’ The Vignelli commitment to the correctness of a design has taken their work beyond the mechanical exercise of devising a form best suited to a given function. They’ve always understood that design itself, in the abstract, could and should be an integral part of function.”

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Massimo Vignelli, considered by many as one of the world’s great designers, is very ill and will be spending his last days at home. His son Luca would like all those who were influenced or inspired by him to write him a letter.

Here is my letter to Massimo that I will be sure to mail to him as well:

I was lucky beyond words. You were the first real graphic designer I ever met. I was 6 years old and you were visiting my father, who was then the publisher of Print Magazine and getting ready to start Package Design Magazine, on which you were a consultant.

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Lucia Eames, the only child of American architect and designer Charles Eames and only step-daughter of designer and painter Ray Eames, died April 1 at the age of 83. Born in 1930 to Charles and his first wife, Catherine Woermann, Lucia was an artist, graphic designer, owner of the Eames Office, and founder of the Eames Foundation — not to mention a mother of five.

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Six Getty Images photographers won top honors at World Press Photo, arguably the world’s most prestigious annual press photography contest. Photojournalists Brent Stirton, Sara Lewkowicz, Chris McGrath, Ezra Shaw, Al Bello and Quinn Rooney were each awarded top honors.

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Sara Lewkowicz, a featured contributor with Reportage by Getty Images, has received first place in the coveted Contemporary Issues category for her work titled ‘A portrait of domestic violence,’ which explores this prevalent issue in a particular family in Ohio.

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