Sunday, September 30, 2012

Louise Fili

For those of you who haven't heard of her before, I wanted to introduce a designer that I recently found out about named Louise Fili.  Just to give a brief description of who she is: Louise Fili, owner of Louise Fili Ltd. founded in 1989, specializes in logo, packaging, restaurant, and book design. She started her career as an art director for Pantheon Books from 1978 to 1989 where she designed almost 2000 book jackets.  Her work is held in permanent collections at several museums and she is co-author with her husband, Steven Heller of a number of books on typography and graphic design.  

Her work is heavily type based and the most amazing part about it is that it’s all hand-done.  One of the most interesting things about her work is that she always incorporates the right type in context.  I think that one rule that’s always important to keep in mind as a designer, specifically when working with typography, is to use type that makes sense in relation to the concept of the project.  The kind of font a designer chooses can definitely help or hurt a design because of what it may reference.  Fili knows exactly what type to use to give her work the right look and feel.  It’s too often that people use fonts that don’t make sense with the style that they are trying to replicate, but Fili’s work is a prime example of what type makes sense stylistically and what doesn’t. 

Fili is largely influenced by anything French or Italian from the 20s and 30s.  She loves traveling to Italy and photographing shop signs and food markets wherever she goes.  She is also a huge collector of orange wrappers, vintage perfume and soap labels, letterheads, and coffee bags, which are all a basis of where her inspiration comes from.  All of these things are very obvious when looking at her work and you'll see why:

This makeover of Bonnie's Jams in Cambridge, Massachusetts referenced alphabets and handwriting samples from the 1930s.

This logo, which was designed for the printing company Darby Litho, references letterhead designs from the early 1900s.

Designed for the Chelsea Market, this logo was inspired by Italian packaging from the 1930s.

To check out more of her work, visit her website:

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