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Beloved Fculty Member and Influential Designer Retires after 25 Years

Words – and Images – on Ed Fella 

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May 14, 2013
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Ed Fella’s AIGA Medalist profile sums him up succinctly: He’s “one of the most influential designers of the last quarter century.” And now he’s retiring. But having been friends since I first interviewed him for Emigre back in 1993, I figure that “retire” will be more like a change of treads, appropriate for a man who started up in Detroit with decades of auto industry servicing and other such commercial maintenance work. And after getting an overhaul and tune-up at the Cranbrook Academy of Art’s MFA program, he was driven to move out west to park, but not idle, at the California Institute of the Arts. When I asked “Why stop now?” he noted that he’s taught there for the past 25 years and, having arrived at age 75, “It kind of makes a nice symmetry, don’t you think?”

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