‘Massimo Vignelli Makes Books’

Film & Motion Graphics, Book Design

Video and accompanying book inspired by Massimo Vignelli, for the "What Will You Make Today?" campaign.

“The grid is an integral part of book design,” says the incomparable Massimo Vignelli. “It’s not something that you see. It’s just like underwear: you wear it, but it’s not to be exposed. The grid is the underwear of the book.”

Vignelli’s approach to book design is the subject of a new video created by Pentagram for the “What Will You Make Today?” campaign from Mohawk. In the video, Vignelli discusses his use of the grid as the basis for the layout of a book’s pages, using one of his classic book designs for the architect Richard Meier as an example. Working with an audio interview edited by Hilary Frank, the designers animated Vignelli’s sketches for the clip, taking them from skeletal grid to finished publication.

The video is accompanied by a small limited edition journal that reproduces Vignelli’s grid from the film. The journal is available from Mohawk's website, while supplies last.

The interior pages of the journal feature the grid of 24 rectangular blocks that Vignelli used as the basis of his layout for the Meier monograph, as seen in the video. The book is printed on Mohawk Superfine Ultrawhite Eggshell finish, one of Vignelli’s favorite papers, and the grid has been debossed on the front and back covers. Bierut talks more about the process of designing the video and the journal on Mohawk's Felt & Wire site.

The “What You Will Make Today?” campaign looks at various “makers” and their creative processes and launched last year with our identity for Mohawk. A previous video in the series, "Tom O'Connor Makes Paper," featured the company’s CEO. 

New York
Michael Bierut
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