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France, People, Toulouse

Emilie is Qanine
Toulouse (France)
Graphic design and editorial

Graphic design in Toulouse

I remember when I first got into my formation, six years ago, the print design was a field quite recognized and impressive. Now that I’m out, everything has changed.

Everyone with a computer access is now called a graphic designer, and the same goes for the photographers. We don’t have any credibility left since we are drowned in the crowd of people who are not valuing even their own work. A couple of friends (Hello!) had a client who recently asked them in the first seconds of the conversation « Why should I pay you that much while I can get a 30€ logo on the internet? ». I think customers don’t realize how a real graphic designer can make the difference, because a good design is often unnoticed.


Professional profiles

Design is everywhere. Since I just got out of my formation, I am specialized for now in editorial design and branding, the two domains I practiced the most. But my goal is to work on various fields to meet people, to test out different techniques I didn’t have the opportunity to try during my scholarship. I’d like to respond to all kind of demands, even the most fucked up request can result a beautiful project. That’s actually why I’ll start some personal projects soon to show how design can be useful everywhere. Just have to figure out how!

The thing with being a freelance is that you are not only selling your skills, but you are also selling yourself so the key is more about meeting people. For now, I’m sending handwritten postcards to the people I want to work with, to create a first contact. That is actually a whole project I’ve made to practice my screenprinting skills : the steak-postcards. I was so happy when a client actually contacted me because he loved the way those cards were printed.
I don’t want to lie to people : I do my best to show them my abilities and what I can offer them as a graphic designer. If they like it, they’ll coming back.


How many designs do you usually suggest to a client?

It depends on the budget and the client. Lastly I worked with a cultural site with a tight budget, since they trusted me I just had to suggest one design that we refined together, step by step.
In the best scenario, I would go for 3 suggestions. I think it’s just enough for the client to make his choice and for you to express yourself. The trap when you are suggesting too much designs is that the client will want them all in one.


Style & trends

Designers have a hard time. You can’t possibly succeed without something specific, that thing that makes you a designer. The uniqueness lays everywhere : In your style of course, but also in the way of working, the way you treat and communicate with your client… In my opinion, each graphic designer should offer something quite unique.
But then, I’m against those who see the trend as a taboo. Of course, visual identity and some editorial project should be unique and over the trend. Nevertheless, some projects don’t need to be timeless or experimental or to be a controversy. Temporary events sometimes just need a catchy poster, and I don’t think it’s wrong. Of course we are graphic designers, and of course we have to constantly question our work and our position. But we have to remind ourselves that our work is talking to the people and have to stay humble in the right time.


I was impressed to see how graphic design was disregarded in France, you still can notice how a lot of designers and people are trying their best to be innovative and bring some freshness.
With Internet, the styles are getting more and more similar between the countries. But I’m sure it will always have an authenticity everywhere because of the history. Just think about the incredible posters of May 68 as an example. Those posters gathered the french people, of course it has a legacy nowadays !

About Toulouse, it’s a city where a lot of young designers newly graduated are trying to settle (just like me). Because of that, I find the design here very open-minded. Thanks to cultural sites, we can often stumble upon great experimentations or expositions. We can easily gather here many creative people from different fields: designers, architects, illustrators, motion designers… I believe Toulouse is a great place to meet people and develop your creativity.


The designer of the future

The way of thinking is evolving, we have to adapt ourself to this new era. Graphic design will slowly change to probably gain a new place in our society. All we can do for now, is to keep up to date, experimenting things in our own way and be open-minded with all the things that are coming next.
It’s not only the profession that need to evolve, but also the people around us. They have to open their eyes and start criticizing what they are seeing. They are the ones that give us our legitimacy; they are the ones we are working for.

Posted by

I’m Miriam, a 31 years old graphic designer from Barcelona. A few months ago I left my apartment, quit my job, packed my things and left for this journey. Now I'm back in Barcelona, publishing all the interviews and working on my renewed portfolio. Follow me!

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