You can say what you like about the hulking, hubristic, Helveticous beast that was Unimark, but I do rather like the idea of wearing a white lab coat whilst designing. I’m not sure why – maybe something to do with how much I enjoyed science/institutionalized pyromania class at school. Of course, I think I might be on my own with this one …
“The white coats were Vignelli’s idea. He thought they would give the operation a sense of discipline, professionalism and unity. Unimark’s studio in Milan sensibly lost no time in discarding the garments as ‘facist’. In 1968, when the long-suffering junior designers in Chicago finally decided they were sick of dressing like a convention of pill-counting pharmacists, the era of the lab coat was over.”
— Rick Poynor’s review of Unimark International: The Design of Business and the Business of Design.
Tis a shame. Anybody else want to completely ignore the mistakes of the past and start a neo-fascist design uniform movement? No? Just me?