Learning about Louise Fili was very interesting because You can see how her love for Italy has inspired her design work. I think as designers we all have something that inspires our creativity. The most important thing that I took away from Fili was having a personal project, I did not realize that having a personal project could help you grow as a designer. Activities that aren’t even design related could also help inspire you and give you ideas. The more experiences we have in different areas the more diverse our work would be. She inspired me to look at different sources for inspiration and to have an open mind. Seeing how Fili would also photograph different signs and book stores, it reminds me of how we live in a city full of logos and advertisements which are all sources of design inspiration. It is something that I will be taking plenty of photos of to help inspire my work.
It was interesting learning about Louise Fili and her career as a graphic designer. Louise Fili’s passion is anything that has to do with Italy and food, which explains where she gets her inspirations from for her work. She loved Italy so much that she would always travel there often to take photos of signage, markets and book stores. “Fili believes that designers need to have their own projects to find their personal design voice.” I agree with this, not everyone is the same and will design the same thing in the same way. People have their own creative mind, tastes, opinions, perspectives and ways to do things. Louise Fili had to create her own archive, she created her own type from scratch, piecing letters, and alternating existing fonts because she wanted it to be unique. It is amazing that she has designed over 10,000 book jackets.
What I really admire about her designs is that they appear very old-fashioned, but very well crafted and designed. Her typography and design almost seems like the old cinematic posters and fonts used in the 40’s and 50’s. I can also see that she gets her inspiration from Italian heritage, Bauhaus, and Art Deco with the use of script hand lettering, use of primary colors, patterns, and exotic typography. Her work is a great example of combining modern with old that brings out an excellent outcome. She and her work are a great inspiration to us and future generations of designers.
I really enjoyed looking at and hearing about the stories behind some of her works. She says that as designers we should not limit ourselves to one type of work or client, and that we should not sit around waiting for the phone to ring. I agree with her on both points. As designers we should diversify our works and clients in order to grow and expand our design skills and style. If we are not busy with client work, we should take that time to learn new skills or work on personal projects to develop our design capabilities. As designers we should be able to deliver a diversity of works from a diverse clientele. If we can only do one type of work, it is going to be hard to get hired because not all clients want the same style over and over.
I was really intrigued when watching the video of Louise Fili and her career as a graphic designer. Fili has designed over 10,000 book jackets in Random House productions. Drawing her inspiration from her Italian heritage and food, Fili shows her strong and elegant typography skills displayed onto food packaging and Italian products. I really like how Fili gets her inspiration from the things around her and incorporates it into her work. Her designs are very Italian vintage, and it is perfect for all the products that she has designed for, but they are also very recognizable, as viewers can look at the product’s logo and can clearly see that it was designed by Fili. Fili states that she loves to make her logos into products and making them very dimensional, as she showed an example of her logo work with a number 2 pencil design, where the design was very dimensional and dynamic. One thing that I learned from the video is that there is no right or wrong when creating designs, and that you just have to do what comes up with your head and make the adjustments over time, in order for your designs to become perfect. Fili also has an extensive visual library from all the photographs and books she has collected throughout her years, and I believe that a visual library is a great way to get inspiration to produce better designs.
“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.
After watching the video it was nice to know Louise Fili. What inspired me was when Louise Fili said that she had served as an art director for years at Pantheon Books, designing more than 10,000 book jackets. I also agree with Louise Fili when she said that in running your own workshop, you do not need to yell to be heard and share two important lessons. You need to start doing what comes to mind. No answer is correct or wrong. Keep writing in your head, whatever comes up. There is also a wonderful example, which is a mind map. To draw attention, we don’t need anyone to see what we have written down. Louise Fili believes that designers need to have their own projects to find their personal design voice. She provided examples on the front of the books of her restaurant designs, product packaging, and her exclusive copyright page handling. All the art directors were already being paid so poorly that they all had to freelance for each other. One day, she got a phone call from an editor she’d never worked with before, But she didn’t have any other options. To draw on it, she had to build her own archive and she dismissed it as just conventional typefaces for the covers. She wanted them all to be original so that she could either do it from scratch or piece letters from alphabets together to create the form in any way she could. fascist Italian Nazi novel that was just right for her. But the next day, with the inner bark stud, it would be fascist style. Sometimes you need someone to see and go through your work, it’s also fun to go your own way. So just start with whatever you think or the sketch, because Louise Fili is doing that to create her own set to draw what she wants to do.
It was interesting that art directors back at that time were “poorly paid that they had to freelance for one another.” It was also interesting that designers had to create their own maps to follow when creating something to publish. Louise was enjoying designing the interior of the book since she designed book covers for so long. Louise then started to take type and put it into an image which was really cool. She said that it took some time for her to convince the client to agree to put the copyright page into an image. Louise then started to design for a restaurant what was cool about that was when restaurants closed down she was able to keep the design she made for the restaurants which was a win-win for her since she got to keep the design. People think that having a random name for a restaurant is alright all you need is someone to do a fancy design and it would all work out. But that isn’t how it works you should have some kind of background on the name of the restaurant. This tells me that as a designer we have to do research as well as the client for everything to work out well, and for a brand/logo to work well. Also sometimes going out of your comfort zone is also good because you can create something that is different and unique out of all the designs out there that already exist.
It is interesting hearing about typography design and book jacket design from Louise Fili. She believed that book designs weren’t innovative and would always follow a formula and she was there to change that and try to be different with her typography design. “The Lovers” cover was simple and understated yet successful which proved her point on how type didn’t have to be loud and in your face to be successful. I really agree with her sentiment that no designer should just wait around for others to tell them what to do but rather should be working on their own projects as much as possible. I really like and relate to her persistence and drive to push design boundaries and be innovative no matter what “the rules” are of design. I love how inspired/obsessed she is by Italy and food and how she always photographs things for inspiration. She always takes inspiration from things around her or things she stumbles upon. All of her designs usually have a very vintage and/or Italian look to them which speaks to how she expresses herself through her designs. I pretty much loved all of her work she discussed and it was clear to see how creative and passionate she is about design which is really inspiring to me.
I was impressed how a simple design book cover can have a huge message like “The Lover” by Marguerite Duras. I can relate when Louise said, “two, you should never sit around to wait for the phone to ring.” You shouldn’t wait for someone or something to tell you what to do. You can use the spare time to focus on your projects that will inspire you to have a personal design voice. It was unique how she turned the legal information (copyright page) into an object that is based on the book. One of the designs that got my attention was, she was curious about how can someone remember or pronounce the name of “Picholine”. She developed to add the symbol of olives to boost the restaurant’s recognition. Another design that I found phenomenal was she had a client that named their restaurant in numbers, she decided to go out and get inspiration. She took a photo of a “9” and a “2”. Then she photoshops the numbers, developed an outline of the design, and used that as a coloring page on the Kid’s Menu. Another design that I enjoyed was she had a client that wanted a restaurant with a cinematic theme. For the menus, there was one for “Lunch”, “Dinner” and “Fin” for the desserts, a good way to end a delicious meal (save the best for last). For “The Mermaid Inn” had a creative way to give the customers their receipt. Which was a half-open sardine can that has their receipt inside. Having the primary and secondary colors for the cans made it stand out for the brand. What I’ve noticed on Louise’s packages is they all have a vintage, old school, and a twist of contemporary design because of the typography, shapes, patterns, and illustrations. The designs give the packages a personality of the brand.