“You didn’t have to shout to capture someones attention”

Louise Fili, INDABA talk

That phrase from Louise Fili speaks volumes as to how I want to approach how I design. There is something special about a simple design that can captivate anyone walking by. She also wanted to have unique type by drawing inspiration from multiple photos she took, altering existing fonts, or by using letters from old type books to create her own letterforms. Creating your own typeface is a brutal process, and I respect that drive to be unique among the many different sorts of type out there. She goes into great detail about how she came up with many branding identities for a number of restaurants, and its amazing how much problem solving she had to go through, as well as the final products that are very smartly considered. She made a sign for a restaurant called 92, and she used the outline of the logo to create a kids. She also gives a funny anecdote where she used sardine cans as a way to present the check to the customers, and how she would have to create many of these every two weeks as the customers would play with the pull tabs too much and ruin them. It was a very smart way of creating a brand with something as simple as a check presenter, and it worked very well, yet there were still some issues that were out of the designers hand.

Louise Fili has a long and prosperous career, and her decisions regarding type and identity shape how she approaches problems. One big takeaway from this talk is that having a large library of photos, type books, or other such media can be extremely helpful as a way to get inspiration for our own work. And of course, the copyright page, where she goes the extra mile to create something reflective of the book itself and allow it to stand out among other book designs.

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