My post this week shines a spotlight on a French designer who has had a major influence on me... Vincent Perrottet. I discovered his work in my first years at Art School during a History of Art class. He came in to talk about his designs. The man is down to earth, humble and passionate.
Perrottet is a French Graphic Designer born in 1958 in Saint-Denis. Ironically, he says he first studied video and cinema at l'École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, as he didn't want to be a graphic designer, but quickly discovered he wasn't good at it. He then became familiar with the work of the Grapus movement and their social conscience posters lining walls on many streets, and joined the group.
Grapus was a French collective of graphic artists founded in 1970 by Pierre Bernard. With a strong political orientation to the left and cultural engagement, they rejected all form of corporate work and assignments with commercial or government clients. They worked for Theatres, Trade Union CGT and social institutions.
The work of Grapus combined excellence of design with a social conscience. For Perrottet, the advantage of working in a collective was the wealth inherent in diverse points of view.
In 2000, Grapus parted ways. Vincent Perrottet and Gérard Paris-Clavel created Les Graphistes Associes. They saw their work as ‘creating images for the public to raise social awareness’. Perrottet is greatly influenced by the Constructivism movement, not only artistically but by the ideology too. Constructivism artists worked for public festivals, theatres and street designs.
Looking at Perrottet's work, I find it beautifully constructed with the superposition of images and typography elements and the use of perspective in the fonts. . It also reminds me of the constructivist artist Kurt Schwitters’ work The key is the message - always clever, avoiding any easy clichés. What really strikes me is how compelling his work is and how it interacts with the observer. Definitely one of my favourites.
09 July 2013
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