Le graphiste en questions (Graphic designer questions)
Studies' final project

When we decide to become a graphic designer, we initially don't have all these questions. Usually, the decision comes from an artistic need that we convert in a desire to study graphic design because it is recognised as a "real job". These questions...we start to have them later in the process. Facing our teachers, our clients, our audience/passers-by/users…

Graphiste en questions Is a workshop that I organised during my studies' project. It is based on a book created for the occasion, that is full of interaction leading to questions and answers.

The principal essence of the project was a basic question. Which is our utility as graphic designers? Are we the megaphones of the client that wants to emit a message? Is our utility to "shout" the informations, trying to make them remarcable inside a jungle of noises?
People and companys asking for a graphic designer need to stand out from the others. They want their message to be "shouted louder" than the other's. If the audience was already attentive to what they have to say, they wouldn't need megaphones.

But are we just this? Being the megaphone is our only utility? Couldn't we also be a kind of a wide open book? A window to imagination? To culture? Aren't we supposed to make people think? React? Is a graphic designer an intellectual?

These quite philosophical questions guided me to a more concrete one that gave me the idea of this workshop. In which way our clients and audience perceive us? Do they understand our work? Our utility? Our functioning?

This gave me the will to find the answer with them. Try to understand better each other and get out of this classic form of exchanging: client-designer and designer-audience. Finally an occasion to meet through a different context and maybe to exchange roles?

We could learn in both ways. People that were invited to this little workshop were friends that weren't designers. Some of them had worked with designers, others were just used to be the "audience". I asked them to answer questions that designers have to answer daily. Questions about typography, colours, symbols, technics. Their answers weren't as important as the process they would follow to find the answer. The importance was why they would make a choice or another.

These questions I proposed them through a book. This was to have a common thread during the workshop. The idea of interaction is strongly present in the book because this would maintain the attention of the participants.

Here a view of the book.

All the questions in the book are quite simple. On which criteria do we chose a symbol, and what is it's utility? What can a typography evoke? How can we instal hierarchy with informations or shapes?

Understand the importance of the medium or technic that is used. Is this shape expressing the same message if created with a technic or another?

Understand the text and image relation.

Analyse each element of a picture. Understand its utility through these elements and its construction.

Finally try to construct things, combine elements, make choices.

Here some pictures of the workshop.