Ed Fella(born 1938 in Detroit) is an artist, educator and graphic designer whose work has had an important influence on contemporary typography. He practiced professionally as a commercial artist in Detroit for 30 years before receiving an MFA in Design from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1987. He has since devoted his time to teaching at the California Institute for the Arts and his own unique self-published work which has appeared in many design publications and anthologies. In 1997 he received the Chrysler Award and in 1999 an Honorary Doctorate from CCS in Detroit. His work is in the National Design Museum and MOMA in New York. Ed has also produced many drawn sketchbooks, which can be viewed on his personal website. His work contains a grid-less typography.Fellas technique is outstanding due to the fact that he does everything by hand, a true artist, this is why i enjoy his work. To be an artists that pushes the boundaries and do what they believe is right, is a true artist in my eyes. He was the first graphic designer to push the envelope and in a way go against what everyone was used to seeing frm the Swiss typography. Fellas work is gridless, its freelance, its expression in a non structured way. He has built a career of over 30 years in his profession of design still using pencils, ballpoint pens, crayons, knives, etc., refusing to use the computer, as a way of still capturing the purity and natural settings of our society. Fella is a designer with great influence on those who want to become. He shows us that everything doesnt have to be done by the rule book and sees his job as a hobby not work.
“This is a kind of art practice that uses forms that come out of graphic design, decorative illustration, and lettering, all mixed together-forms that come out of Twentieth Century art, out of Miró and Picasso-all of it has a genealogy and a certain look-in the same way that artists today use comic books and graphic novels. I was an illustrator, so you see endless styles popping in and out of the books. The drawings are an unconscious discharge of all the styles and forms that I used as a commercial artist for 30 years-that was my profession-I did it every single day. So, my unconscious has all this stuff in it, and now, because I don’t have to make meaning anymore, I can just use the techniques, like a machine that has long ago stopped making widgets, but the machine is still running. I’m still making stuff. I love the craft of it-of carefully making some little thing…” Ed Fella