Edward Fella

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1938– | BORN: Detroit, Michigan | EDUCATION: Cranbrook Academy of Art

Created handmade lettering and design

Taught design for 25 years

Embraced American vernacular in his work

“Do something you haven’t done before,”22 Ed Fella would tell his students. It’s great advice for expanding one’s horizons, and it also describes Fella’s career.

For almost 30 years, Fella worked in commercial design in Detroit, growing frustrated all the while by the lack of personal expression in his work. At age 47, he quit and went to graduate school at Cranbrook, where Katherine and Michael McCoy’s innovative design program enabled him to explore and ask ...

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