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Object Timeline

-0001

1984

  • Work on this object began.

2009

  • We acquired this object.

2015

2019

  • You found it!

Poster, Architecture in Japan, 1984

This is a Poster. It was designed by Massimo Vignelli. It is dated 1984 and we acquired it in 2009. Its medium is offset lithograph on white wove paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Iconic Italian graphic designer, Massimo Vignelli, designed this poster for the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies and Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture, co-sponsors of a four-week course of intensive study abroad in Japan in 1984. The program sought to immerse students in the country’s rich architectural history, as well as expose young designers to contemporary buildings and structures. His studio, Vignelli Associates, which he founded with his wife Lella, is known for their expert use of the grid as a means of organizing type and image on a page. This poster exemplifies a strict adherence to that method. The hierarchy of type is demarcated by scale and weight of letterforms, some by color. Each photograph is of equal size within the layout, with blocks of text sized to fit. Elements in the design are highly ordered and deliberate, in accordance with Vignelli’s ethos . Vignelli’s extensive opus lent an air of elegant modernity to everything he designed, from logos — American Airlines, Bloomingdales, Knoll — to diagrammatic maps — New York’s 1971 subway map, National Park Services maps.

This object was donated by Massimo Vignelli. It is credited Gift of Lella and Massimo Vignelli.

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Its dimensions are

56 × 56.2 cm (22 1/16 × 22 1/8 in.)

It is inscribed

Imprinted in orange ink, lower margin: Design: Michael Bierut, Vignelli Associates

Cite this object as

Poster, Architecture in Japan, 1984; Designed by Massimo Vignelli (Italian, active USA, 1931–2014); USA; offset lithograph on white wove paper; 56 × 56.2 cm (22 1/16 × 22 1/8 in.); Gift of Lella and Massimo Vignelli; 2009-42-9

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition How Posters Work.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18734839/ |title=Poster, Architecture in Japan, 1984 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=21 February 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>