New York: Pellegrini & Cudahy - Visual Arts Books, 1952. 1st Edition. Oblong folio, publisher's gold cloth over grid-printed cloth boards, spine stamped in black, red endpapers.
Italian designer Massimo Vignelli's copy of Czech infographics pioneer Ladislav Sutnar's midcentury survey of "point-of-sale" design, signed and dated by Vignelli on the upper pastedown ("Chicago, February 1960"), with Vignelli Associates' library inkstamp to front free endpaper. Sutnar worked in exhibition and stage design, book and magazine publication, toy, textile and commercial product design in Prague before immigrating to the US during the Nazi occupation of his country. As art director for a number of trade and manufacturing catalogs he increasingly came to rely on typography, punctuation and iconography, drawing on De Stijl and Constructivist design principles to streamline and harmonize the visual communication of information. The present work functions as a primer on modern commercial product display: "the roots [of point of sale] extend deep into the past – into the activities of ancient market places and into the most primitive vestiges of common barter. What is relatively new today is the increasing complexity of point of sale in all its aspects: the increased competition in selling, the quick multiplication of both old and new product types, the urgency of definition of the entirely new products of modern technology, all with the resultant increasing need for product promotion" (from Sutnar's introduction). Illustrated throughout with black-and-white photos, reproductions, plans and illustrations, including contributions from such midcentury heavyweights as Paul Rand, Saul Bass, Gyorgy Kepes and early Warhol associate Philip Pearlstein. Vignelli first came to the US as a student on a fellowship from 1957-60, when he presumably acquired the present volume. Later, he left his stamp on New York in the form of his iconic signage and map for the subway system, as well as his shopping bag design for Bloomingdale's. As an evangelist for clean, minimal information design, Vignelli can be seen as a direct descendent of Sutnar's. Lacking scarce dust jacket. Light shelfwear. An excellent association copy, connecting two of the 20th century's major designers. Item #1004