Ed Fella

Posted: May 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

Ed Fella was born in 1938 and has had an important influence on contemporary typography as a graphic designer. He has work in the National Design museum in New York and has published several books on typography and graphic design.

Commercial art alphabet: Not a font. 2005

He practiced professionally as a commercial artist in Detroit for 30 years before receiving an MFA in Design from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1987.

Ed Fella’s approach to type is very energetic and vibrant, his use of colour and the looseness of his hand when working in his sketchbooks is hugely inspiring. In 2007 he became an AIGA Medalist and Half of an issue of Emigre magazine is devoted to him.

“Over the years, Fella has created a body of work that’s as compelling as it is unique. Prodigiously mashing up low-culture sources with high-culture erudition, Fella’s work—perhaps more than that of any other contemporary designer—makes visible the postmodern concept of deconstruction, which recognizes that behind every articulated meaning is a host of other, usually repressed meanings, some antithetical. By battering and mixing fonts, engaging in visual puns and generally violating the tenets of “good design,” Fella lets a thousand flowers bloom. His designs don’t cut through the clutter—they revel in it.”

By Vince Carducci

Polaroid photographs of vernacular lettering, 1990 to 2005.


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