Man Who Designed Iconic Metro Signage (and lots more), Massimo Vignelli, Passes Away

Photo by PoPville flickr user Glyn Lowe Photoworks.

Thanks to a reader for sending the link RIP Massimo Vignelli: The Iconic Designer Who Shaped a Century:

“Vignelli designed porcelain enamel pylons which would include all the relevant information and complement the look of the platforms. In addition to the signage, it was Vignelli who suggested they name it simply the “Metro” instead of a string of acronyms.”

You can read more about Vignelli’s life here.

13 Comment

  • I never knew those dirty poles were considered iconic…

    • Me neither. I’m sorry to hear that this person passed away, but let’s not get too carried away with hyperbole.

      • in the design world, they are iconic. Iconic doesn’t necessarily mean good. The Washington Post actually had a cartoon about how everyone had to move their hide sideways in order to read the pylons. Station names on vault walls were later added against his wishes. Pylons such as Metro’s are rare and they are iconic to our system.

      • If you think it’s hyperbole then you may not know what “iconic” means. These poles are iconic.

    • Of course not, it’s something natively associated with DC

  • ironic that the picture is of a long name with inconsistent punctuation for delimiting portions of the name. I’m sure Vignelli would have been opposed to this.

    He also was opposed to advertising and anything on the vault walls..

    Regardless, we can all thank him every day for calling it “metro”… he realized that all major capital city calls their system Metro

    • *cough* London Underground?

      • But i f you say Metro in London everyone will know what you are talking about.

        Further the original name was some unpronounceable acronym. If you say BART or MARTA (which are at least pronounceable) in another city, people will be confused… and then laugh when you explain it.

        • “But i f you say Metro in London everyone will know what you are talking about.”
          Maybe, but they do not call it that as Anon 11:32 claims.

      • otherwise known as the tube

    • I took the T when I lived in Boston

  • Yeah, what’s so iconic about this signage??

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