Elegantissima: The Design and Typography of Louise Fili

Exhibition Website

Mar 2 2017 - May 21 2017

Louise Fili has been a graphic designer since 1973. From a fortunate early job with Herb Lubalin (1976–78) to art directorship of Pantheon Books (1978–89) to opening Louise Fili Ltd in 1989, she has mastered an art based on the reinterpretation and invention of exquisite type and typography. Throughout her career she has remained loyal to her oft-invoked three passions “all things food, type and Italian.” 

Fili’s specialties have enabled her to build and evolve that rarest of design values: a distinctive personality that enhances the clients’ needs. A wide range of methods co-exist throughout this work yet they all have the Fili imprimatur. From typographic customization, using history as her guide, to hand lettering rooted in an innate mastery of ornamental form, she is fluent in numerous design languages. She has been master of the book cover, food package and restaurant identity. Yet of all these métiers, the jewel in her crown is logo design. Not the standardized corporate brands, but flowing letterform and pictographic marks that reveal elegance, grace and devotion to precision. She makes everything look effortless but her workmanship is intense.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website

Whether or not you go, the first monograph on her work,  , covers the breadth of her nearly forty-year design career and is a must-have for graphic design students and professionals, as well as anyone interested in advertising, food, restaurants, Italy, and books. Louise Fili has been an inspiration for designers around the world since the 1980s, when she raised the bar on book cover design, creating close to two thousand jackets as art director for Pantheon Books. In 1989 Fili founded her own graphic design studio, Louise Fili Ltd, and branched out into the fields of restaurant and food packaging design. Her lavish and elegant typography, often hand drawn, helps advertise and market such well-known brands as Sarabeth's, Bella Cucina, Jean-Georges, and Good Housekeeping, among many others. Known for her intense attention to detail, her fresh reinterpretation of vintage sources, and her passion for all things Italian, Fili has won numerous awards

  • Works on Paper
  • Contemporary
  • Design
  • Louise Fili

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