Brochure for Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, based on the Unigrid Design Specifications for the National Park Service. This publications program was originally designed in 1977.

Text from design: Vignelli exhibition label:
View of the "Design: Vignelli" exhibition, Benetton Galleries, Vignelli Center for Design Studies, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York, United States. The "Design: Vignelli" exhibition opened in 2010 at the Vignelli Center for Design Studies, which is also home to their entire professional archives. The exhibition mirrors the "Design: Vignelli" exhibition which toured nine countries between 1989-1993. As with the previous iteration, Lella Vignelli and Massimo Vignelli designed the displays, wrote the descriptive text, and curated the artifacts for the exhibition. It is the last exhibition designed by the Vignellis that is still open to the public. Pictured: National Park Service (1977)

Text from design: Vignelli exhibition label:
Public Graphics Programs
As everyone should know, to design a graphic program for the government implies a great deal of responsibility. The numbers involved are enormous and the impact, good or bad, is tremendous.

The United States National Park Service administers 350 national parks––some being nature site, some historic––with 300 million visitors per year.

Every one of them receives a site map with park information. Books and exhibitions are also a part of the information program.

In 1977, we designed the basic format and prototypes for all NP publications, a format which was then implemented by a very skillful staff of designers, writes, photographers, etc.

The first thing we decided to do was standardize the size of folders into a system of folded posters that could be places in kiosks or hung in schools. Then we created a very flexible grid with a black identification band at the top for displaying the park name, and selected a limited range of typefaces and sizes.

We did the same for books. Cartography, photos, and illustrations were also a vital part of the program.

The result has been a very consistent level of quality throughout, a strong visual identity and, above all, an incredible cost reduction due to the standardization of the elements.

Park Service Design team:
Melissa Cronyn, Nicholas Kirillof, Dennis McLaughlin, Linda Meyers, Philip Musselwhite, Mitchell Zetlin, and Vincent Gleason, Chief, Division of Publications


  • Title: Independence [front view]
  • Creator: Vignelli, Massimo, Vignelli Associates
  • Date Created: 1989
  • Physical Dimensions: 15 1/2" x 16 1/2" (39.37 x 41.9 cm)
  • Original Language: English
  • Publisher: United States. Government Publishing Office
  • Medium: lithograph on paper
  • Industry: Government
  • Function: brochures
  • Form: leaflets
  • Collection: Massimo and Lella Vignelli papers
  • Client Location: Washington, District of Columbia, United States
  • Client: National Park Service
  • Category: graphic design

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