Marion graduated from BA (Hons) Graphic and Media Design (GMD) in 2019. She has a passion for type and its potential to visually convey meaning beyond the language it primarily serves. She also enjoys critical writing on typography and graphic design.
1. Tell us about yourself. Have you always been interested in art and design?
I’m a French designer who grew up in Amsterdam before I was lucky enough to move to London to pursue my design education. As a kid I was drawing loads in my free time and would get really excited whenever there was a chance to express my creativity at school.
2. You worked across multiple print techniques when you were at LCC. How did this influence your practice?
Being introduced to different printing techniques during my time at LCC had several significant impacts on my work.
One of them being the ability to understand the production side of design. It’s one thing to imagine a design, but it’s whole other skill to make it come to life and stand on its own two feet. Spending time in the different printmaking facilities at LCC has allowed me to understand what each process requires and why they are worth the time and effort. Even if as a graphic designer I’m not really printing things myself now, being aware of how printers work in their respective fields and knowing what is possible but also what is not possible inevitably influences my ideas as a designer.
Another one is more directly related to letterpress, where I developed my understanding and love of typography. Even if InDesign is a great tool, when you open a document it has all of these default features of leading and tracking that you’re kind of tempted to just trust, especially as a student. When working with letterpress, there is no ‘default’ composition – you have to physically make all these decisions yourself and develop your own eye. You discover that not all typefaces are designed to look great at 10pt on 12pt leading with zero kerning. When you are designing a graphic outcome, say a book or a website, having this awareness of how much control you actually have with type alone unlocks so many ideas.
3. How do you stay up to date and connected in the design world?
I like to go to talks and events, especially the ones where people are relaxed about sharing work in progress or are seeking feedback from the audience like Type Thursday for instance. I find this sort of format very beneficial in the sense that it encourages conversation and makes networking much more organic.
I have also learned that connecting to the design world doesn’t necessarily mean just following famous designers on Instagram and attending their talks, but also nurturing my community of friends who just like me are still figuring their creative career out. In my group of friends from LCC, we’re all exploring a different direction in design and when we meet up, we often talk about things that didn’t go as we’d expected them to. Having that safe space to share your learning experiences with others and to feel supported when things don’t go right is super important.
4. What does your current work setup look like?
Right now I am self-isolating in France with my family so my current set-up is essentially a desk in the living room with my sketchbook, my pencils and my laptop. Back in London, I have put up prints of people I know or whose work I love which makes me happy and some design books whenever I am tired of the screen. I also have this huge collection of paper scraps I’ve been collecting that I have yet to do something with!
5. Looking back on your time at LCC, what advice would give to yourself, if you could travel back in time?
Don’t overestimate the limited and precious time you have in these amazing facilities with the technicians. If you want to make something, just listen to yourself and go for it rather than trying to fit into what you perceive the industry expects of you. The right job will come sooner if you are honest with yourself.
6. Where can we see more of your work?