Friday, September 3, 2010

Graphic Design and Postmodernism—Edward Fella

Nu-Bodies / Mark Tucker / R. Tim Miller / Linda Kennedy / Susan Carman
Mailer / Poster, front and back, 1987, offset lithograph on warm gray 60# bond,
11"x17" / two-folds / two-sides / one-color
Designer: Edward Fella
Publisher: Detroit Focus Gallery
From the collection of David Versluis

Quoting Ed Fella:
“… I’ve been around since the late ’50s. I spent 30 years as a ‘hack’ in the Detroit commercial artist business. I was an advertising designer, illustrator, I did lettering, all sorts of things. But I also did a body of work outside the professional work in the studio system, which was the more experimental stuff, either self-published or published to promote artists and photographers; what’s now called ‘personal’ or ‘cultural’ graphics.”
“An Interview with Ed Fella.” Fella, Edward. Interview by Michael Dooley. Emigre 30 (1994). Print.

A statement from writer and editor Steven Heller:

“Fella began his career as a commercial artist, became a guest critic at Cranbrook and later enrolled as a graduate student, imbuing in other students an appreciation for the naif (or folk) traditions of commercial culture. He ‘convincingly deployed highly personal art based imagery and typography in his design for the public,’ explains Lorrine Wild in her essay Transgression and Delight: Graphic Design at Cranbrook (Cranbrook Design: the New Discourse, 1990).”
Heller, Steven. “The Cult of the Ugly.” Eye Magazine, No. 9, Vol. 3 1993. Print.

Vince Carducci in his 2007 AIGA medalist’s honoree article writes:

“… Just how innovative was his work? Even before Adobe had figured out how to kern digital fonts, Fella was deconstructing lines of copy, modifying typefaces (turning Bembo into Bimbo by hacking off the serifs, to cite one example) and jumbling them up. Not for another decade would desktop publishing achieve anywhere near the eye-bending effects Fella was getting with copy-camera Photostats and X-Acto knives.…”
Carducci, Vince. "Medalists: Ed Fella." AIGA. AIGA | the professional association for design, 2007. Web. 3 Sept. 2010.

Ellen Lupton and Abbott Miller wrote in 1996:
“The work of Ed Fella has broadly influenced recent developments in type design. Fella’s posters for the Detroit Focus Gallery, produced between 1987 and 1990, feature damaged and defective forms—from third-generation photocopies to broken pieces of transfer type. These imperfect elements are meticulously assembled by hand into free form compositions. Fella’s experiments inspired other designers to construct digital fonts with battered features and hybrid origins.”
Lupton, Ellen, and J. Abbott Miller. Design Writing Research: Writing on Graphic Design. London: Phaidon, 1996. Print.

1 comment:

  1. Heya¡­my very first comment on your site. ,I have been reading your blog for a while and thought I would completely pop in and drop a friendly note. . It is great

    stuff indeed. I also wanted to there a way to subscribe to your site via email?

    Graphic Design London


Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the editor has approved them.