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Collection of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

Ms. Louise Fili

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Graphic designer and writer, Louise Fili, was born in Orange, New Jersey on April 15th, 1951. In 1973, she graduated from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York where an opportunity to work in the college typeshop inspired a deep love for typography. Fili specializes in logo, package, restaurant, type, book and book jacket design. She is known for her quiet pretty style of design, often incorperating older less popular typefaces from the 20's, 30's, and 40's. In an article in Print magazine, Phillip B. Meggs described Fili's unique style and process when he wrote, "Fili's work is elegant and refined, possessing great subtlety and even softness. Often, [the] typeface will be a style she remembers from old typographic specimens or will have to be radically altered to achieve her objectives. For Fili, the sad part of the death of handset metal typography is the loss of many wonderful old typefaces which are simply unavailable. She has worked around this problem by restoring letterforms from old printed specimens, commissioning hand lettering of the missinig letters or even the entire title and message." Louise fili began her design career in 1976 as a senior designer for Herb Lubalin Associates and left the Lubalin Studio in 1978 in order to accept a position as art director of Pantheon Books. Fili stayed at the Pantheon until 1989 when she left to found Louise fili Ltd. where she is currently principal. Although Fili has created over 2,000 book covers to date, much of her most well known work, including the book jacket for Marguerite Duras' "The Lover", were created during her time at Pantheon Books. In an article in Print magazine, Phillip B. Meggs described her work at Pantheon when he wrote, "Color and imagery also seem to resonate with the essence and spirit of the literature, almost as though Fili has focused more on the logo and food package design, especially on the creation of corporate identities for the restaurants including Picholine and Prix Fixe. Fili's work has been included in the permanent collection of the Library of Congress, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and the Musee des Arts Decoratifs. Her work has also been featured in Graphis, Step Inside Design, and Print magazines. Fili has also co-authored many design books with her husband Steven Heller including "Italian Art Deco", "Dutch Moderne", "Streamline", "French Modern", "British Modern", "Deco Type", "German Modern", "Deco Espana", "Typology", "Belles Lettres" and "Cover Story".

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