Designer Of New York City Subway Map Dies

Massimo Vignelli's map was in use from 1972 to 1979. The Italian-born Vignelli also worked on the original branding for American Airlines. He was 83.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And let's stay in New York for our last word in business today, which is beauty in simplicity. Picture this - the station name in big white type as you enter the subway in New York City, the original winding colorful subway map. How about logos? The double As of American Airlines, Bloomingdale's big brown bags. If you've seen any of these things, you've seen the work of Massimo Vignelli. He died yesterday in his Manhattan apartment. Vignelli believed in timelessness. He only used three fonts, mostly Helvetica. And there's proof that he succeeded - the subway stop signs with their iconic colorful circles haven't changed for some 50 years. Vignelli told the website The Big Think that he relished that wherever he went his life's work was all around him.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVAL RECORDING)

MASSIMO VIGNELLI: Maybe a truck comes by with a logo that you have designed or a book is on a window of a store or someplace has the furniture that you have designed. Yes, it is a lot of fun. It's a lifelong gratification.

GREENE: Lifelong gratification over a good long life. Designer Massimo Vignelli was 83 years old. And that's the Business News on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

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