Today we present to our readers an interview with Etienne Ledemay, a French AD and Interfaces designer.
Hello, my name is Etienne Ledemay, I am a 26 years old digital art director living and working in Paris for 3 years.
I will move to London in a few months with my girlfriend who is also an Art Director. There are a lot of great agencies out there as Output studio and I would love to work with this kind of digital company as a freelance art director. I am also a music lover, especially electronic music. I am used to mixing Drum’n'Bass or Techno music. I spend time for my work and it’s a good way to free one’s mind :)
I studied design. After a High School Diploma in Visual Arts and Literature, I went to a Graphic Design School where I learned the right basics in typography, graphical experimentations and design. At last, for my last year of studies, I came to Paris at Gobelin School, a great design school with a digital curriculum. It was for me a great experience and I have met a lot of talented people there, both designers and developers (Victor Coulon who helped me with my website for example).
I was always interested in Art, Technology and Design. For me, web design gathers these 3 entities. You can experiment, use the latest technologies, make the best interface you can do but the final point is the user and his respond to your work. That’s why I love my job, it’s a permanent challenge.
A modern and successful web designer has to master the creative tools such as Photoshop or Illustrator. Then, he has to be well organized and pragmatic: working in the digital area is a team work, web designer is only a gear in the mechanism. And the most important for me, is always to stay curious about everything and learn new things.
Good question :) Probably it is a matter of sensitivity and personal education. I have always been interested in such Swiss graphic designers as Joseph Müller-Brockmann and Max Miedinger, but also artistic movements like Bauhaus or De stijl. In Europe, they have a big influence on modern design in general, especially typography using and layout making in our job area.
blacknegative.com, I like the original navigation and the way they present their works. That’s for the “Wouhou” part. I like the new version of soundcloud, very user friendly, much better than the previous version. I also discovered a month ago fiftytwonework.com, a new network for professional creatives, mostly based in the UK. Very clean and well thought. Daniel Howells (howells.ws) worked on it, one of my reference.
Nothing special: work, lunch and work again ;) The morning, I spend one hour on my Rss feed or my Tweeter account, that’s important to discover what’s new. After that, work work and work again.
Mostly Photoshop and Illustrator for the vector elements. I never tried Fireworks.
I keep to a rigor discipline. For example, my working files are very clean, all the layers and groups are well named and classified. It’s very important to me and the front-end developers then ;) To keep interest in my work, I always try to inject a part of my creativity and expose my opinion in the projects, it is also important to me.
I have an agent who finds clients for me. Sometime, people look at my website or my dribbble account and contact me directly.
In Web design every detail counts: font choices, colors selection, layout balance, pictures cropping, buttons customization, … A great website stands out when you have a consistency and an extensive work of all these elements. It needs a lot of patience but the good reflexes come with work and experience.
The best thing to do at the beginning is to dig your personal style in Graphic design, not exclusively in Web design. Be curious of everything and don’t be afraid to try and experiment for yourself, it’s the best way to improve your own graphical education.
My little selection:
Literature: IDN Magazine, the collection “A book apart”.
We also made a Tumblr with my girlfriend to keep all the influences we like, a good way to find them quickly when we need : edeux.tumblr.com.
In general, the ideas come often when I read the briefing and the customer specifications.
Whatever the project, I always do a benchmark of the same creative field. I go on awwward, dribbble or behance for that. My favorite stage is the look and feel research step: you have to focus on everything, starting from the layout balance to the graphical details, while thinking about the possible evolutions. It is always great to see that your first impressions were right and work throughout the project.
I have the feeling that we will go even more into simplicity, with less effects, and a better space optimization in the layout. The user will take a prominent place with the curation concept.
We have also to think about the connected TV devices and the multiscreen design, Apple and Google have announced interesting things in this sense. Responsive design and others fluid grid systems were only the beginning of this evolution. On the other hand, I think that 3D will take an important part in Web design and technical development. WebGl will bring a lot, in e-commerce for example (online products testing).
Thank you Etienne, it was a real pleasure to get in touch with you. Your reasonable answers might help the beginning designers to enrich their knowledge. We wish you a lot of inspiration in your work, a lot of cool and creative ideas.
To learn more about Etienne Ledemay you can visit this links:
Etienne Ledemay’s Offical site: http://artographik.fr
Gallery on Behance.net: http://www.behance.net/artographik
Andrew is the chief editor of Splashnology blog. He has many years of experience within the web design industry and has a passion for the latest web technologies.
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