Louise FIli began her career at Herb Lubalin where she was a senior designer. In 1978 she moved on to Pantheon books where she designed over 2000 book covers and drastically changed the publishing industry by “rejecting the shiny finishes and garish foil-stamping that served as a standard packaging for mass market books” for “matte, laminated coatings combining historical type with modern color palettes and compositions,” Her radical designs paved way for a more flexible approach to book cover and jacket design in the the industry. Fili’s design is often inspired by Italian culture, especially the European designs of the 1930s whose influence can be seen throughout the body of her work. She bills herself and her studio today as “[a] studio that offers unique and elegant solutions to all things related to food, books, and culture, including brand development for restaurants and specialty food packaging,” In a recent video produced by SVA on her latest SVA Subway poster she said:
“When I started out as a designer I came to New York - I was right out of school and I looked for female role models and there were none. It was unfortunate, but that’s when I made a vow to myself that one day I would try to mentor as many female students and designers as possible. Which is what I’ve been doing and when I opened my studio 27 years ago I decided to name the studio, Louise Fili Ltd. because I really wanted to send a clear message and that was ‘If you have a problem with me being female, then I have a problem with you as a client,”
The School of Visual Art presented Fili, an SVA faculty member, with the 28th annual Masters Series Award and exhibition (October-December 2016). This exhibit is the first comprehensive retrospective of Fili’s career and included her book covers, branding, food packaging, and restaurant design work. What is most unique about this exhibit is the brilliant exhibition design. Fili worked with Kevin O’Callaghan, fellow SVA faculty member created immersive and interactive environments that showcase her branding, packaging, and books as they were intended to be viewed, not on the walls of a gallery. Photographs of this installation/exhibit can been seen below.
Louise Fili is the master of rebranding a company to return to it’s roots. Her branding, package, logo, and typface design all played a large role in the creation of the labels and artwork.
She Loves Me is a musical with a book by Joe Masteroff, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and music by Jerry Bock.
The musical is an adaptation of the play Parfumerie by Hungarian playwright Miklós László. It is the third adaptation of the story following the 1940 film The Shop Around the Corner and the 1949 Judy Garland-Van Johnson musical version In the Good Old Summertime. Jerry Bock wrote the score for The Shop Around the Corner. The story resurfaced with the 1998 film You’ve Got Mail.
She Loves Me follows Georg and Amalia, two parfumerie clerks who aren’t quite the best of friends. Constantly bumping heads while on the job, the sparring coworkers can’t seem to find common ground. But little do they know, the anonymous romantic pen pals they have both been falling for happen to be each other! Will love continue to blossom once their identities are finally revealed?
The majority of the action in She Loves Me takes place in Maraczek's Parfumerie where Georg and Amalia are store clerks. My goal was to create a immersive environment that viewers could step into the 1930s world.
The next step was to create a visual identity for Maraczek's Parfumerie. I sketched out various concepts, but wanted something that elegant and refined.
Now came the fun part...designing the labels! While designing these labels I had to keep a few things in mind.
- Limitation of Printing in the 20s, 30s, 40s - I had to make sure that I only used spot colors, I couldn't use gradients or highly vectorized graphics. The labels would have been made using paste up techniques.
- Font/Type Choices - Each font used on these bottles is from of based on a font that would be available during that time period. It wouldn't make sense to use Comic Sans since it wasn't designed until 1994 (Let's be honest, who's use Comic Sans anyways)
- Shape/Contour of bottle
The final part of my project was creating new artwork for an upcoming production of She Loves Me. I begun by sketching out my concepts and doing type tests which you see below.
The next step was to take the concepts that I liked and begin to work in graphic elements into the compositions. Always keeping in mind that for a logo to truly work it must first work in black and white for it to then work with color.
Next was digitizing the concepts that I had come up with!
T-Shirts, and CDS, and Buttons, and Magnets, and Postcards, and more!