This talk took place in The Great Hall at The Cooper Union on June 14, 2019. The livestreaming and video recording were made possible by a generous sponsorship from Google.
My fascination with the seemingly unlimited variety of forms that a proscribed letterform can take before it becomes illegible and ultimately just a trace. This presentation is a quick career-long traverse, with examples ranging from what is still communicative graphic design to a fanciful purposelessness, which could be called art.
Ed Fella is a former commercial artist and professional graphic designer who practiced for 30 years in Detroit. After receiving his MFA from Cranbrook in 1987, he taught in the graduate Graphic Design program at CalArts in Los Angeles for another 30 years. He is currently a Professor Emeritus and continues working on campus in his studio on a wide-ranging series of his own idiosyncratic projects that stubbornly resist categorization although they freely partake in the conventions of typography, photography, illustration and fine art. The recipient of many awards, his work has been extensively exhibited and published during the last several decades.