Design is at the root of everything we do. To say it’s an obsession would not be overstating things. It has transformed our habits and our habitats. Wms & Co. offers everyday objects elevated by design and influenced by history. Each detail is carefully considered without becoming overwrought. These are exquisitely practical tools to enhance daily life. Use them often and they will acquire the rich patina of service. We think they provide an intimate, personalized and deliciously offline experience that can be hard to come by these days. In the words of Paul Rand, the great American graphic designer, “Good design adds value of some kind, gives meaning and, not incidentally, can be sheer pleasure to behold.” We second that emotion.
the one and only massimo
yes, i interviewed with massimo but was not offered a job.
actually, this card comes from the third time i met mr. vignelli. the first time i visited the office of vignelli associates, i interviewed with michael bierut. i remember it and still have his card, too, but that is another story. the other card is from simon johnston, from his 8vo days. again, another story for another post. i include it only for size comparison, since simon's card is a standard 2" x 3.5".
this card was presented to me while i was the art director at bergdorf goodman. it was decided that the seventh floor home section of the store needed a designer to overhaul the specialty food packaging, so a list was drawn up and massimo's name was placed on it, along with a few other notable names. i was surprised to see his name. the date was early 1992.
the seventh floor of bergdorf's had a marvelous reputation for outstanding one-of-a-kind items. it was run by an amazing woman named corky tyler and i was thrilled when i heard they wanted to revamp the packaging. i learned one of the buyers had suggested massimo for the project.
a day was set aside for the various designers to make presentations. as the in-house designer i was not asked about designing the program or even consulted, although two years before i had designed the identity and packaging for the new men's store. i sat through the presentations—some good, others surprisingly embarrassing. thank goodness slide projectors are a thing of the past. mr. vignelli arrived, sat down and said, 'what do you have for me?' well, the store president sat there blank and unmoved. the buyers explained the problem and massimo spoke eloquently, not just about the need for unique packaging but about lighting, display and shelf presence. i knew he was expanding the problem beyond the immediate needs and losing the president.
what made this meeting memorable was not massimo but one of the bergdorf's buyers, who, after sitting through the previous presentations of slides and specific samples of the work, asked to see massimo's work. she had no idea of the volume of his work nor his reputation. my colleague quickly snapped, 'visit the moma!' i'll never forget it. i smiled, massimo smiled and the meeting ended. thank yous all around and business cards were exchanged. i'm pretty sure he doesn't have my card but i am thrilled to have his.