Delphine Cordier & Teo Nguyen
Graphic design specialized in cultural institutions
I interviewed Delphine Cordier last June in her studio in Tolouse. I met her when she was still a member of the Lazy dog but now they are working in a different way: she and Teo Nguyen are VIF and we talked about design, Toulouse, style, trends & future.
Graphic design in Toulouse
In Barcelona, it’s been quite some time since people first talked about a notable decline regarding conditions and quality of graphic design and about how clients value our work. Do you have the same impression? And why?
No. It’s not the same level at the beginning. Also Barcelona has a very good design level as some other capitals in Europe but specially Barcelona. And Toulouse is like a village. It’s not a place of design. It’s a place where design doesn’t exist. So it’s improving slowly and going up but it’s late!
So I think that the quality and the people conscience is going better.
We’ve got a lot of institutional clients. Since the crisis, they haven’t money anymore ant they ask you make something very very cheap but we have to response for the same work. We have to work faster and cheaper.
Do you specialize in a particular domain (branding, packaging, web design…) or do you offer a more generalized service?
We are specialized in cultural identity like theater, music, orchestra, circus, festivals, etc.
We offer a generalized service including branding, editorial, web design, print, 3D. As for now, for instance, we are doing a communication and scenography graphic design for a great cartography exhibition.
We understand comunication as a global project.
Do you hunt for clients or do clients contact you?
Do you follow a commercial sales or a customer fidelity strategy?
Our strategy is to do a good job and have a good relationship with the client.
How many designs do you usually suggest to a client?
It depends on the client and the price. Normally we present 2 proposalsbut at times, only one. We try to work together to figure out what they want and, in this way, we can adjust better the final proposal.
Style & trends
Does a graphic designer need to have his own style or, for example, they have to follow the trends? Should a design be timeless, open for evolution or rather be adapted to the trends?
The designer has to create the trends and needs to have his own style. There are some clients that don’t choose the designer for his style because they don’t want a specific style. But some others do, they are conscious and they ask for the designers own style but they have to be sure that they want your style. I always ask them if they’ve seen my website and if they can tell me what they like from there.
So would you say that Toulouse is innovative, has its own style or just copying designs that already exist?
It’s difficult to answer this question but I don’t think that Toulouse has its own style yet, but there are awesome personalities who are gaining more visibility and I also think that there is good taste and a wells settled tradition for illustration.
Do you know about graphic design in Barcelona? Do you think it has its own style?
Very minimalist, typograhic, I would say, black & white.
In Toulouse, I’ve heard many times “we have to take somebody from Barcelona because here there aren’t graphic designers to do it”. And it’s really common here to think that design is in Barcelona, not in Paris or Lyon, in Barcelona! Because it’s close and stronger. Barcelona has a strong identity. In Paris there are a very good graphic designers but very different among them.
The designer of the future
Does the profession of graphic design need a facelift? What could we improve?
There’s a lot to improve in France. There is a lot of people doing this job without formation, some people know nothing about this work. People have the tools and they think that they can do this work. This is the reason that in France, people think that everybody can do this job. In Netherlands, Germany or London it’s totally different. In France, people don’t know what this profession is about and don’t know what you have to do to become a professional designer. They don’t understand and I think that this little value that’s been given to graphic design can be improved.
And from the point of view of a graphic designer, there is too many different prices, there are people sending free logotypes by internet, etc. It would be good to put some rules, like the architecths who have forbidden to do plans for free and they have rules set for the pricings. But graphic designers don’t have a profesional group who protects them and regulates this sort of things.
And I think that we have to improve issues like the image rights and intelectual property. It’s not our job but we have to know about it and protect ourselves and protect the client. We are not familiarized about comercial stuff and selling ourselves but we have to do it so we have to learn how to do it well.