Gràfica de les Rambles: The Signs of Barcelona Hardcover – September 26, 2017
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- Lonely Planet
"The colourful spreads show everything from metal Art Deco signs and wrought iron to more delicate mosaics, stained glass and carved stone. Photographs of the painted, sculpted or forged signs evoke something of an archiving method, as Fili scrambles to capture these signs of old before they disappear for good."
- Eye Magazine (UK)
"Signage isn't necessarily the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of Barcelona, but it seems we're all missing a trick. Graphic designer Louise Fili celebrates some of the most stunning Modernista and art deco signage from the Spanish city in her new book "Gràfica de les Ramblas," with impressive results. It features a compilation of nearly 400 images of stained glass, mosaics, carved stonework and wrought iron signage from restaurants, hotels, farmacias and even department stores."
- CNN Travel
"Fans of the mighty Louise Fili will be delighted to hear that the master of decorative design has a new book in the works which will be landing in mid-September. The volume takes the Catalan city of Barcelona as its focus, exploring the irresistible charm of its decorative signage and hand-made wayfinding as inspiration."
- AIGA Eye on Design
"Catalonia, as it has shown of late, likes to do things its own way. That distinctiveness comes through in Barcelona's signage, much of it done in its turn-of-the-century Modernisme style, a fanciful take on art nouveau. Typography buffs will be in for a treat."
- San Francisco Chronicle
About the Author
Fili is the author of Elegantissima, Grafica 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 Perfetto, Tutti Frutti, and Brillante pencils.
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We can only hope that she keeps going and going and going. My advice: Don't put this book up on a shelf. Keep it out on a favorite
tabletop, and just flip through when you want a blast of design acumen. From commanding block letters that communicate with brio -- to
curvaceous swirling italics........Now add elegant mosaics, carved eternal limestone, colorful stained glass, and eye-popping neon......It's all
here. Beautiful savvy photos, GREAT page design a la Fili, and just enough text to sweeten the pot of this visual feast.
Typography mavens will be push-overs for this book -- but this engaging volume will enroll ANY one into the love of beautiful letter forms.
With design support from her team of talented designers, this third book in a series showcases the beauty that Barcelona streets have to offer. While previous volumes covered the typographic signage of Paris & Italy, this one takes a closer look the distinctive qualities of this Catalan city by the sea. Broken into sections covering modernist, art deco, cursive lettering, and mosaics to monograms, architectural and eclectic, each image allows the viewer to really focus on the nuances and details of each piece of typography. Many are original type styles or letterforms giving it a distinctive uniqueness like no other.
A lovely story introduces “Grafica de les Rambles”, explaining how the previous books were created out of a sense of urgency, to visually capture these incredible typographic artworks before they vanished completely. She continued on with Barcelona, mapping out her trip using Google Street View but was devastated when one of her favourite shop fronts was seemingly erased minutes before her arrival. Fortunately, through her personal account being shared in the news, an email from a family member of the shop was able to easily reinstall the sign (removed for safety reasons after the photo studio closed the year before) upon her return to the city. Fili documented the reinstallation of the exquisite typography, with 15 proud family members in front of the location as a tribute to them and the many other small businesses who managed to keep the city’s historic signage alive.
That is what this wonderful series is all about…keeping what was once lost or at risk of being erased, and bringing it to life again for past, present and future generations. I discovered other countries (e.g. Japan) doing similar publications, but not on the same visual scale and attention that Louise Fili has taken. I look forward to her next edition and am thankful to all who continue to document the beauty they discover, wherever in the world they find them themselves.