Vignelli Center
for Design Studies
Rochester Institute of Technology

Pierre Mendell

Pierre Mendell (1929 – 2008) was one of the world’s leading graphic designers. For almost 30 years he played a role in creating the visual identity of the Neue Sammlung – the international design museum Munich.


In 2014, a major exhibit of Pierre Mendell’s posters were shown at RIT’s University Gallery. Concurrent with the exhibit was a presentation by Annette Krögerfrom Munich.


Pierre Mendell



Born in 1929 in Essen, Germany, he lived in France between 1934 and 1947; emigrated to the USA in 1947; in 1953 returned to France, where he worked in the family textiles company; in 1958 began studying graphic design under Armin Hofmann at the Schule für Gestaltung in Basle; the Mendell & Oberer studio was founded in 1961 in Munich.


Pierre Mendell’s work is characterized by elements which are often missing in much contemporary graphic design: vibrancy, communicative force, poetry, and humor. His cultural posters and corporate design identities — including his designs for Vitra and Siemens, for which he is probably best known — are timeless yet contemporary. The success of his designs demonstrate that the strength of all graphic work depends on an overarching concept, not on current fads. Mendell passed away in 2008.