Louise Fili — the American graphic designer behind the iconic branding of products like Tate’s cookies and Late July crackers — remembers exactly when she first became interested in Italian typography: She was 16 and on her first trip to Italy when she spotted a billboard for Baci Perugina chocolates. In the years that followed, Italian designs would have a profound influence on her aesthetic — and she remained particularly fascinated by the country’s elegant signage. This month, the new book Grafica della Strada: The Signs of Italy documents Fili’s obsession with Italian lettering, collecting pictures she’s taken of restaurant, shop, hotel, and street signs from all over the country. Her collection spans three decades and countless materials and styles, from classical to futurist and gold leaf to neon.
Click through the slideshow to preview Fili’s homage to Italian typography, including elegant signs for trattorias, pasticcerias, cinemas, and more.
Fili will present her work at the New York Public library tonight, followed by a Q&A with Debbie Millman (Design Matters).