design : ed fella



Hi Everyone -

This weekend I saw the wonderful show Design People on Ovation about artist and graphic designer Ed Fella. His hand-lettered type is created using a trusty 4-color Bic pen, crayons and good-old-fashioned cutting and pasting - no computers. When Ed started more than 30 years ago, his work was considered to be ground breaking because his lyrical-style defied the conventional grid system in font design. His Polaroid photos of type taken across America are wonderful and capture vintage signage that is disappearing.



Ed also has a great philosophy defined as 'Exit-Level Design'. After 30 years of working as a commercial artist, he retired with a lot of creativity left in the tank. He thought that 30 years was a long time to be doing one thing and wanted to pass the torch on to the next generation. He didn't stop working, though. Among other things, he is now a member of the Calarts Graphic Design Faculty.



I tried my hand at Ed-style type with my own Bic pen and photographed some books from our collection that feature interesting type and book jacket design, although nothing as lyrical as Ed's. I converted my digital pics using Poladroid, but I'm not sure how I feel about the technology. It's neat, but I kind of feel like I'm cheating on my Polaroid camera ;).

xo, Cindy

12 comments:

hmstrjam said...

love the type and love your new heading with the owls!

Bonbon Oiseau said...

thanks for the info on ed---what a career! and your ed inspired photos are fantastic cindy! (and i have that same edition of charlotte's web--all beat up sionce it was mine as a kid...{sigh}...
(hey i'll be in dumbo this weekend---come and see me if you're free sweetie!)

aimee said...

what a great feature. you just can't beat good old pen and ink. (or a good old camera...your polaroid is calling your name...it knows what you did.)

cindy : quaint said...

thank you ladies!
that's good to know deb because i still haven't gotten my bonbon bracelet.
aimee, i think ed would love your work and i LOVE that pen! my polaroid is looking right at meet and sulking. oh dear ...

Pascale said...

The good old 4-color BIC -- they haven't changed a single bit since I was a kid...

Julia said...

I loved your photos in the polaroid capture-thing-a-ma-jig! And I loved learning more about the type treatments, some of my favorites!

Megan Coyle said...

It just blows my mind what some artists are doing/have done. It's a little intimidating but at the same time pretty amazing and wonderful. Thanks for sharing Ed Fella's work--I'm still in awe of how he thought up his technique.

Grace@PoeticHome said...

How splendid Cindy! Thank you for sharing such a lovely artist, as well as your charming photos. I think Polaroids make everything a bit more magical.

julie king said...

wow! ed's style takes me back. that's for sure! your book collection is so nice and your photos lovely as usual. i so enjoy dropping in to see you!

please sir said...

Wow...what a great post. I love hearing about his background and seeing all the great photos you took. Not completely cheating - I think they look great!

jess gonacha said...

thanks for the introduction to his work! i love that he retired with a tank full of creativity. :)

suzanne cabrera said...

Oh my...does that 4-color bic ever bring back memories. Hmmmm....I've been wanting a trapper keeper for a while...I may need one of these to go with it.