Lella Vignelli is the founder of Vignelli Associates and the wife of Massimo Vignelli. She has had "a lifelong collaborative working relationship" with her husband. She is known to be the business arm of Vignelli Associates, and played a key role in the success of the design firm. She received a degree from the University of Venice's School of Architecture and a tuition fellowship as a special student at MIT's School of Architecture. In 1962, she became a registered architect in Milan.
Vignelli believes that all design should stem from a core discipline that could be translated to any project. She also believes that design should be integrated into the production process instead of added superficially at the end.
Vignelli's design is centered on communication through simplicity and careful planning. She used subtractive design, rather than additive design, to restrain her own influence and allow the essence of the design to come through. Emphasis was placed on existing and ancient motifs and elements, as well as materials' natural characteristics. She viewed words as a way to communicate actual ideas rather than serving as visual decoration, and this is evidenced by her heavy use of black text on a white background. In general, color was used for its emotional and sensual power.