Graphic designer Louise Fili had a hand in creating this new stamp for the U.S. Postal Service.


STAMP OF APPROVAL: While many marketers are racing into augmented reality and gaming to up their advertising impact, the U.S. Postal Service will be turning skyward for next month’s unveiling of a new stamp.

New York branding specialist Louise Fili designed the Love Skywriting Forever stamp and Jessica Hische illustrated it, under the art direction of Derry Noyes. Their design will be launched with a skywritten replica in Chino, Calif., on Jan. 7.

A retrospective exhibition of Fili’s work just closed Monday at the School of Visual Arts, which also honored her earlier this year with its annual Masters award. Fili has designed myriad logos including Paperless Post, Zelda, ilux, Hanky Panky and Sarabeth’s, as well as tweaks of the Hyperion and Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.  The soon-to-be-revealed stamp, one of three stamps Fili designed for the USPS, was actually created more than eight years ago, Fili said. At that time, Hische was senior designer at Fili’s New York firm. She has since gone out on her own collaborating with Wes Anderson and other clients for select projects.

Their stamp art depicts “Love” written by a small plane in white cursive script against a blue sky studded with wispy clouds. A swirl of smoke decoratively underlines the word. Unaware that the USPS plans to recreate the image with skywriting above the Planes of Fame Air Museum, Fili said, “For the Love Ribbons stamp, they did something in Colorado where people did this dance with ribbons. When they all came together, it spelled out ‘Love,’ which I would have loved to have seen. But they did not invite me. After all, it is the U.S. Post Office,” she said.

Such stunts are more akin to artists like Dave Kyu and Vik Muniz, or guerrilla advertisers like Red Bull. Fili is working on another catch-it-when-you-can project – a series of books about Europe’s vanishing vintage signage on shops, restaurants, patisseries and the like. “I’ve been documenting the signs for the typography for over 30 years. Now that the technology is so much better and I can shoot digitally, I decided to make these into books before they all disappear,” she said. “The first was on Italian signs, the second was on Paris stores and the next one that will be out in the fall is about signs of Barcelona.”

The typography and imagery in her first two books, “Graphique de la Rue” and “Graffica della Strada,” resonates with designers, Francophiles and Italophiles, Fili said. “For me, it’s been this mission to get it all down before they all disappear. Because they are disappearing at an alarming rate,” she added.

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