I'd originally titled this post "Mrs Heller". Ordinarily, that would be a terrible way to introduce someone like Louise Fili, but it is interesting that that is who she is…isn't it? Well, I thought so but as time's passed, I've felt it more and more innapropriate…I certainly didn't intend to give even the slightest suggestion that Fili is in any way in the shadow of her other half. In fact, a quick flick through Elegantissima (the first volume to celebrate her amazing work) and you'll be left in no doubt, Fili is clearly the one half of this particuar graphic design couple with the lion's share of the talent. Which Mr H quite openly admits himself in the book's introduction.
I imagine the work itself is not for everyone; it is a particular kind of work. Rich in apparent retro-style, there's no stripped back Helveticapseudomodernism. There is, on the other hand, page after page after page of hand-crafted beauty. At times it feels like a particularly american kind of graphic design although Fili herself may not like that description - in her opening text she emphasises her passion for Italy.
Perhaps the publication of Elegantissima is timely, following as it does that amazing volume on Herb Lubalin who she worked for before eventually setting up her own studio. And I can't help but mention that it was Fili who encouraged Ms. Hische on the creative path she chose.
Over all, it feels like this is a book well overdue.