Elegantissima: The Design and Typography of Louise Fili

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For Package Designers and Both Print and Digital Typographers

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.

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Elegantissima: The Design and Typography of Louise Fili

Elegantissima, 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.


“When it comes to food, you probably don’t know Louise Fili’s name but you may very well recognize her work. If you’ve ever dined at The Mermaid Inn, Back Forty, or Artisanal in New York City, eaten Tate’s Bake Shop’s cookies, spread some of American Spoon’s jam on bread, or poured a glass of Bartlett Winery’s wild blueberry wine, you’ve seen Fili’s designs. Graphic designers are sure to appreciate this book–not only for Fili’s professional legacy but also for its historical point of view.” – Epicurious.com

“Sumptuous logos, books, menus, and packaging abound, but the unexpected treat comes in the form of case studies: sketches, inspirations and design process. Not to be missed.” – Communication Arts

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Elegantissima: The Design and Typography of Louise Fili

“While this book is more monograph than how-to, it offers the reader a cogent reason for why the work is made, therefore it serves as an inspirational and aspirational guide.” – Omnivoracious

“The 256-page monograph is a steal at $40 and a must for package designers and both print and digital typographers.” – InteriorDesign.com

“Long known as something of a revolutionary in the field of book-jacket design, Fili took her distinctive and elegant old-world style to the food-packaging industry in 1989. There she brought a whole new level of sophistication to everything from candybar wrappers to wine bottles-and you can find many of them here.” – Entertainment Weekly

“Elegantissima is evidence of (Fili’s) success. The monograph is filled with case studies, anecdotes, and luscious spreads from an extraordinary career’s worth of design. Most of the book will make you hungry, or at least move up your plans to go to Europe. Bellissima!” – Imprint

“Appropriately lavish and stunning, Elegantissima is the perfect showcase of Fili’s intricate, arresting, and always elegant work.” – Brain Pickings

“An image-heavy book that will make type and design nerds drool.” – Bust Magazine

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Elegantissima: The Design and Typography of Louise Fili

About the Author

Louise Fili is director of Louise Fili Ltd, a New York-based design studio specializing in branding for food packaging and restaurants. Fili was art director of Pantheon Books for eleven years, where she designed close to 2000 book jackets. She is a member of the Art Directors Hall of Fame, and received the medal of lifetime achievement from the AIGA and the Type Directors Club.

Fili is the author of ElegantissimaGrafica della Strada, and Graphique de la Rue. She also co-authored and designed Italianissimo and The Cognoscenti’s Guide to Florence. With her husband, the design historian Steven Heller, she is co-author of Italian Art Deco, British Modern, Dutch Moderne, Streamline, French Modern, Deco España, German Modern, Deco Type, Design Connoisseur, Counter Culture, Typology, Stylepedia, Euro Deco, Scripts, Shadow Type, Stencil Type, and Slab Serif Type. She has also designed PerfettoTutti Frutti, and Brillante pencils.

Elegantissima: The Design and Typography of Louise Fili
Hardcover: 256 pages / Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; 9.1.2012 edition (September 5, 2012)

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