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Bookcover Grafica Strada by Louise Fili
Bookcover Grafica della Strada by Louise Fili

You might have noticed: Dolcevia has given its e-magazine and web pages a fresh new look. The style and font are courtesy of Louise Fili, which we were grateful to utilize, we are a great fan of her work.
The most beautiful product labels and packaging in Italian stores seem timeless, as if they haven't changed in ages. Sometimes, that's true. Recently, there's been a resurgence in using last century's labels and packaging as nostalgic inspiration for today's graphic design. Louise Fili has been at the forefront of this trend.

Louise Fili, graphic designer

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Based in New York, the designer and illustrator of Italian descent, Louise Fili, is now hotter than ever, despite having been in the industry for over 30 years. She's famed for revamping old American food labels, such as jam, pasta, and gelato, keeping their familiar look while introducing a modern flair. Notably, she also designed the new logo for Tiffany in New York.

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Italy, Italian Design, and Italian Food

Fili has three passions: food, Italy, and design. What was deemed outdated and stereotypically American 40 years ago (when designers had just discovered that ther were other fonts than Helvetica, with the likes of Futura and Avant Garde making their mark), Fili has consistently embraced in her style — romantic, nostalgic, and decorative. Trends come and go, but she seems to believe that if you're persistent, everything will come back in vogue. Yet, just last year, a client dismissed her designs for an Italian restaurant and product packaging as old-fashioned. Clearly, the client was either out of touch or too far ahead of the curve. For $25,000, they apparently had different expectations.

New 'Antique' Labels Shine in Supermarkets

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Super romantic llustrations and imaginative lettering adorned packaging from the late 19th century, especially on food products like chocolates and candies. Illustrators of that era covered every inch of their canvas, leaving no part of the paper untouched. Modern designers, inspired by Fili's school of design, now incorporate elements from those vintage illustrations but add a contemporary touch by using more white space and giving illustrations clearer definition. These new 'old' designs are a huge hit.

Italian Graphic Designers Through the Ages

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Such designs are also popping up in Italy. Packaging and labels aim to lend products an authenticity, as if they've existed for centuries. It's a good thing computers exist; back in the day, illustrators had to draw each letter by hand. Louise Fili is so inspired by Italian posters, labels, and street signs that she's even published a book on the subject. 'Grafica della Strada' is a collection of billboards and lettering she's encountered on the streets of Italy, expressing her love for typography and Italy.