Filo (Ilona Mihályfi Ernőné Fischer)
1910 - 1986
Filo was a poster designer whose career started in the early 1930’s, but most of her output is from after 1945.
She was studying in Munich, Germany, at the Academy for Applied Arts. In 1933, because of the rise of nazism, she fled left Germany and returned home. At home she met her later husband Ernő Mihályfi, who was an editor at the Est newspaper consern. In the 1930's she started her career with designing covers and advertisements for the Athenaeum Printing Company, along with a few posters.
After 1945, she designed several very successful and remarkable political posters. First she won a tender with a very impressive design: Minden kéz vegyen részt az újjáépítésben! (Every hand should take part in the rebuilding!). This monumental work is promoting the rebuilding of Budapest. For the design she used a repetitive photomontage of a hand holding a brick. In 1955 her poster Nem! (No!), which shows the boot sole of a nazi soldier covered with swastikas, became a symbol, just like her above mentioned other design.
She became a successful poster designer in the socialist era, even though she avoided the official socialist realist style. Her posters are compact compositions with impressive symbols. She often used repetitive symbols, photomontage, strong colors and basic, clear typography.
In the 1970's she was designing posters for cultural programs, like the outdoor concert festival of Szeged, the art weeks of Budapest, etc. .