Vignelli Center
for Design Studies
Rochester Institute of Technology

Welcome to the Vignelli Center for Design Studies

About the Vignelli Center for Design Studies Biography of Massimo Vignelli Biography of Lella Vignelli Accomplishments

Vignelli Center for Design Studies



When the Center began in 2010 on the RIT campus, many in the design field predicted it would open the door to countless opportunities for future generations of students and scholars. The 15,500 square-foot-facility bears the name of world-renowned designers Lella and Massimo Vignelli.




Lella Vignelli and Massimo Vignelli on their first visit to the completed Vignelli Center for Design Studies building



“Since the 1980s it has been a preparation for consolidating the themes of history, theory and criticism into the Vignelli Center for Design Studies at RIT,” says Massimo Vignelli. “It is mind boggling to think of the position of the center 20, 50 years from now. A series of good teachers will bring forward our dreams and affect hundreds of students who will grow to spread even further our Modernist beliefs.”


The Center houses the archive of the couple’s award-winning work. It serves also as an international hub for design education, preservation, collaboration, advocacy, public good and globalism. The Vignelli archive includes an extensive collection of original source materials along with many examples of their finished work including corporate identity campaigns for Xerox, American Airlines, Bloomingdales and Ford Motor Co. They have also designed jewelry, silverware, and furniture. The Handkerchief Chair, Paper Clip Table and the Stendig calendar are among the timeless classics in the archive. Students, researchers, professional designers and scholars will have the opportunity for access and study of the the Vignellis’ work. In addition to the archive, the center houses offices, a study room, and the Benetton Gallery which exhibits select pieces from the Vignelli collection.


“RIT’s great potential is in its interdisciplinary work,” says R. Roger Remington, RIT’s Lella and Massimo Distinguished Professor of Design. “It’s the collaboration and research that will put this Center on the map as a global resource for design. I’m proud the Vignelli Center is serving as a bridge to these kinds of opportunities.” Adds Richard Grefé, executive director, American Institute of Graphic Arts: “The Vignelli Center for Design Studies is now instrumental in defining the role of design in society and commerce. It recognizes and celebrates the work of Massimo and Lella Vignelli, who are arguably the most influential designers of the past 50 years, for they have demonstrated that design can make the complex clear, can enliven both popular culture and the civic experience, and delight the human spirit.”