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Elegantissima: The Design and Typography of Louise Fili Hardcover – September 5, 2012


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Frequently Bought Together

Elegantissima: The Design and Typography of Louise Fili + Scripts: Elegant Lettering from Design's Golden Age + Vintage Type and Graphics: An Eclectic Collection of Typography, Ornament, Letterheads, and Trademarks from 1896 to 1936
Price for all three: $57.59

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; 9.1.2012 edition (September 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616890975
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616890971
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

" 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

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

"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

About the Author

Louise Fili Ltd, founded in 1989, specializes in logo, package, restaurant, type, book and book jacket design. A senior designer for Herb Lubalin from 1976-1978, Louise Fili was art director for Pantheon Books from 1978-1989, where she designed over 2000 book jackets. She has received awards from every major design competition, including Gold and Silver medals from the Society of Illustrators and the New York Art Directors Club, the Premio Grafico from the Bologna Book Fair, and three James Beard award nominations. Fili has taught and lectured on design and typography and her work is in the permanenet collection of the Library of Congress, the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, and the Biliotheque Nationale. She was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts design grant to study the work of W.A. Dwiggins and is co-author, with Steven Heller, of Italian Art Deco, Dutch Moderne, British Modern, Deco Type, German Modern, Design Connoisseur, Deco Espana, Typology and Euro Deco. Fili was recently inducted into the Art Directors Hall of Fame.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This book is beautiful and full of design inspiration.
Yushin Kato
All is a must-read for every designer, young and seasoned, and anyone who relishes beauty and history.
NR
Louise Fili is a legend and her work is truly amazing.
Carol

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ina Saltz on September 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I have long been a fan of Louise Fili's work, but up till now I have only been able to see it on a catch-as-catch-can basis. In Elegantissima, a beautifully produced book that is a treat to hold and peruse, all of Louise's magnificent work (to date!) is collected in one sumptuous volume, book jackets, restaurant logos, packaging, etc. That alone is enough to make this book worthy of inclusion on every designer's bookshelf. But the deeper lure of Elegantissima is the fascinating narrative written by the designer. Her insightful, knowing, sometimes wry commentary on each project conveys a lifetime of experience that is not to be missed. I especially enjoyed the process sketches and reference photos included as background for some projects. Louise's extensive documentation of shop and restaurant signage is referred to here, and it is my sincere hope that her photographic cache will one day become the subject of another volume; it would be a fantastic typographic resource. The one tiny disappointment of Elegantissima is the (slanted) misprinting of a block of her "Love" stamp design on p 246, no doubt a production error; it should not deter you, however, from treating yourself to this book. It is a joy to own.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By LKP on January 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Handsome is, as handsome does. If you are an admirer of Louise Fili's work (I am) you would naturally expect a book designed by her, about her own work, to be flawless. And, oh boy, it is. This beautifully-designed volume covers her amazing career, and even gives us a couple of enticing peeks into her studio environment. Did I get out the magnifying glass to see if we owned some of the same books? -- Yes. (We do.) The reader is treated to some "in progress" sketches -- and in one case, I almost applauded to see that she had sketched some of her preliminary logo ideas on the pages of an old Italian ledger. Such brilliance. Do you like.....flavors, colors, typography, vintage ephemera, elegance, tasteful graphics, whimsy, travel, tradition, innovation??? .....
Then you will enjoy this book. Life is beautiful -- and Louise explains why.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By NR on September 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I devoured this book. Getting it personally signed by Louise Fili with her voluptuous, beautiful handwriting was the yummy appetizer; then taking in, spread after spread was another fine course. I loved reading the subheads, and the sidebars are often dishy and always informative. Her exquisite collaborations and inspirations are showcased in a very clean and inviting manner. Fili's text is inviting as well, consistently generous with juicy, behind-the-scene details, including many aspects of her process--the stuff we designers go gaga for. ELEGANTISSIMA is my favorite monograph (including Chip Kidd's) to date. To top it off, in the foreword, Steve Heller (Louise's husband, prolific author, and former art director of the New York Times Book Review) reveals a personal letter to Louise, written in 1982. All is a must-read for every designer, young and seasoned, and anyone who relishes beauty and history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jpcooper on June 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As you will notice this little jewel has already received an impressive collection of five star reviews. And there there for good reason. This is one beautiful book. The assortment of advertising and typographical examples Louise Fili has assembled makes for very delightful viewing. The book offers a wide variety of both her own work and classic period pieces. As one who does not make his living in this field I can only appreciate this work from the aesthetic point of view. That alone, however, makes this volume well worth owning. For one employed in the trade I can't imagine passing it over.
I have several books by Steven Heller and Louise Fili and this husband / wife collaboration has produced some real treasures. I can only imagine what wonders are housed in their combined archives. They are both to be thanked for making so much of their painstaking research and amazing collection available to the rest of us.
Louise is incredibly gifted in her ability to incorporate the beautiful scripts, ornamentation and images of a bygone era and give them a contemporary look. She, singlehandedly, puts to rest the old canard - "never judge a book by its cover". I have no doubt the packaging she creates outshines most of the products contained therein.
I would add, in addition to the obvious visual merits of this book, Mrs. Fili is quite a wordsmith. She has a definite flair for turning a phrase. Her ability to create prose with a such a decided flourish is rather unique in the genre of the art book. Typically one glides through these books content in just appreciating the images while overlooking the cumbersome writing. Her's is a pleasant exception.
The production quality of this book is all one could hope for and well deserving of its contents.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ElmoTheCat on February 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A designer with such a distinct style that she is in command due to demand. Gorgeous volume of work with explanations on concept. One word describes this book ... delicious. Other than a mention of setting type in lead in her student days and hand-lettering, there is nothing about her production methods, something I wouldn't mind learning about. A book showcasing of some of her vast design work.
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