is a blog about design, technology and culture written by Khoi Vinh, and has been more or less continuously published since December 2000 in New York City. Khoi is currently Principal Designer at Adobe, Design Chair at Wildcard and co-founder of Kidpost. Previously, Khoi was co-founder and CEO of Mixel (acquired by Etsy, Inc.), Design Director of The New York Times Online, and co-founder of the design studio Behavior, LLC. He is the author of “Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design,” and was named one of Fast Company’s “fifty most influential designers in America.” Khoi lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with his wife and three children. Refer to the advertising and sponsorship page for inquiries.+
Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 New York City Subway Map is well remembered both as a beautiful example of modernist design and as a notorious victim of public short-sightedness. I tend to think it’s a bit overpraised and the fact that it was largely deemed unusable by the public has been too conveniently written off by its fans.
That said, its hallowed reputation amongst design fans continues to grow. Now Milan-based author and illustrator Emiliano Ponzi has nudged it further towards mythological status with a children’s book that tells how it came to be. The book uses warm, painterly illustrations that playfully illustrate the challenges that Vignelli faced, while also squeezing in a gentle introduction to design problem solving and the principles of modernism. Sample spreads:
To learn more about the book, you can read Steven Heller’s brief appraisal at designobserver.com. You can also see some of the original illustrations, free of copywriting, in this Behance project. And of course you can buy a copy for the young modernist in your life at Amazon.+