At Vignelli Associates, I was immersed in a world of unbelievable glamour. If you were a designer – even the lowest of the low, like me – Massimo treated you with a huge amount of respect. Everyone passed through that office. I met the best designers in the world there: Paul Rand, Leo Leonni, Joseph Muller-Brockman, Alan Fletcher. And not just designers. I remember one time Massimo was working on a book project with an editor from Doubleday, and he decided to give her a tour of the office. He brought her to my desk and introduced me. It was Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. “Mrs. Onassis, this is one of our young designers, Michael Bierut,” said Massimo. “It’s an honor to meet you,” said the former First Lady. I think I just said, “Guh, guh, guh.”
— Michael Bierut (2014) Massimo Vignelli, 1931-2014
For me, this is the secret. Yes, you need to practice your craft, yes you need to work hard, but in the end, what makes the difference, is how you treat people regardless of who they are.