By Luke Auburn
Photo courtesy of RIT Press
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RIT Press and an enthusiastic group of crowdfunders have revitalized a book that profiles the most iconic work of world-renowned Italian designers Lella and Massimo Vignelli. The Vignellis originally released the book a decade ago to share insight on design topics from fashion to typography to architecture, but it has been out of print and largely unavailable for years.
This August, RIT Press will release an exact reprint of the original, 196-page Vignelli: From A to Z. Two editions will be available: a standard edition reproduced from the original production files as well as a limited edition of 100 copies enclosed in a slipcase with the signature Vignelli white on red color scheme.
The reprint is made largely possible thanks to eager support from a Kickstarter campaign that began May 2, which sought to raise $20,000 to help fund the project. By the time the campaign concluded 30 days later, 344 backers helped eclipse that goal and contributed a total of $29,733 to bring the project to life.
“The campaign was stunningly successful,” said Bruce Austin, director of RIT Press. Austin said the Press was excited to bring back such an “an important, out-of-print book. First released in 2007 by Images Publishing Group, Vignelli: From A to Z quickly sold out its press run. Book resellers and used book dealers began offering the title, sometimes at ultra-premium prices, on various design and used book websites.”
The book is based on a series of Massimo Vignelli’s lectures at the School of Design and Architecture at Harvard University. It uses the 21 letters of the Italian alphabet to explore lessons learned from some of the Vignellis’ most important work, including the New York City subway maps, the Bloomingdale’s department store logo, and famous furniture, book and clothing design.
The Vignellis have strong ties to Rochester Institute of Technology: the Vignelli Center for Design Studies at the RIT campus houses the archive of the couple’s award-winning work and serves as an international hub for design education, preservation, collaboration, advocacy, public good and globalism.
A limited number of copies of Vignelli: From A to Z are available to order for $60 for the standard edition or $115 for the slipcase edition at the RIT Press website or by calling RIT Press at 585-475-6766.