Louise Fili – Food Packaging & Restaurant Identities

Louise Portrait (Cafe)Louise Fili


Louise FIli is an American graphic designer, who was born april 12, 1951 in Orange, New Jersey.  Her parents were both Italians, who she never forgave for leaving Europe and coming to the United States.  She fell in love with design when she took her first trip to Italy when she was 16 years old.  Since that trip she has fell in love with all things Italian and wants to show her love for Italy in all aspects of her work.  She received a degree from Skidmore College in ’73 and moved to New York because she new at the time that if she wanted to pursue graphic design that was the only way she could make a name for herself.  She eventually found her way into the hand of Herb Lubalin, who proved to be a great mentor, and the place to be for living and breathing type. She later worked for Pantheon Books from 1978 – 89, where she designed almost 2000 book covers; including one of her personal favorites the Lover.
durasthelover This cover was one of her favorites of her design career there. She had said that at this point computerized type was surfacing with its BOLD, clean and uncharacteristic look and that she had wanted to create a voice for her book and say something without having to shout at the viewer with such a typeface. Before leaving the company at its peak Louise opened up her own design company in ’89 called Louise Fili Ltd. 

Since opening up her own company, which is still open today, she has designed many famous logos and packaging designs Including some of her favorites such as Roasters Select Coffee – Irving Farm,  the Mermaid Inn,  Good Housekeeping and a personal favorite the Pink Door, which she designed for a close friend. Every time Louise Fili takes on new design work she talk directly to the persons involved in making the heartfelt and personal decisions that she will be taking into consideration during her design process. She likes to be authentic to what the company implies and find the companies passion to integrate into her work.  After talking to clients about what their likes and interests are she likes to start by gif_bagsnew1etting inspiration from her workspace and historical references always trying to create something new and creative without repeating a past work for a past client. When working Louise Fili goes directly to a pad of tracing paper. She sketches for hours, writing and re-writing over and over again creating multiples and jumbles of texts and images. The designs eventually come alive on paper creating an unknown and possibly new type of design work. She then re-works again the sketch she has chosen to a cleaner version that she takes to an illustrator to make her form come to life on paper, after the illustrations, the design is then processed in the computer for a clean look and is then ran to the letter and printing presses for the final outcome. Louise Fili is known for noting being found of computer output work, but instead press printing all of her final work to keep the hand sketched, authentic feel to her work.


 Louise Fili has said that most of her inspiration comes from taking her trips to Italy every summer cooking while listening to old french and Italian music from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, eating and trying new foods at restaurants around the city, going to flea markets and rummaging through old sign shops. One goal she has said would make her a happy designer is to inspire at least one young female designer with the same love and passion for design as she has during her career.








by: Price Davenport

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