Brain Pickings

Massimo Vignelli on the Secret of Great Book Design


“The grid is the underwear of the book.”

Massimo Vignelli, mastermind of the iconic New York City subway map, is one of today’s most celebrated graphic designers and a fierce champion of intellectual elegance. My friends at Pentagram have put together this lovely short documentary, which takes us inside Vignelli’s book-design process with equal measures practical insight and witty inspiration:

The grid is an integral part of the book design. It’s not something that you see, physically. It’s just like underwear: You wear it, but it’s not to be exposed. So the grid is the underwear of the book.

Pair with this fantastic, wide-ranging interview with Vignelli.

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