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Arnaud Aubry: Open Day L’École de Design

Work / Graphic Design

“Stay simple and playful”: Arnaud Aubry talks to us about making his fun and charming work

Working seamlessly across graphic design and illustration is no mean feat but Arnaud Aubry makes it look easy. The Nantes-based creative’s clean and colourful work covers anything from design for museums and galleries, editorial commissions, and posters for gigs he organises in his spare time. The key to making this incredibly charming work: “stay simple and playful.”

For Arnaud, it’s his ability to move between graphics and illustration that keeps his work fresh. Reflecting on the importance of a vibrant dialogue between the two disciplines, he says: “Often I’ll start a project by choosing a typeface and messing around with it. Because I usually style my illustrations to fit with the font I’m using, I’ve noticed how this affection for type stops me from getting locked into one style and encourages me to try new things each time.” But Arnaud has found himself having balance this desire to explore new avenues with pleasing clients who expect certainty and consistency. As he tells It’s Nice That: “I’ve been doing a lot of illustration work for magazines and I’ve noticed how the client is more comfortable if they know exactly what they’ll be getting. Sometimes people find it easier to just put you in a box and that can be frustrating.”

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Arnaud Aubry: Louisette

Combining clean lines with blocks of bright colour, Arnaud’s work strikes a perfect balance between fun and simple. It’s a delicate equilibrium enhanced by understated touches of animation which bring an added dash of playfulness to his compositions. But exercising restraint with these additions is vital for Arnaud who is keen to stress the importance of their subtlety. “I try to be careful with motion design as it’s a good a way to draw attention but it can quickly become visual pollution – particularly in public spaces,” he explains, adding jokingly: “I like discrete looping videos because it’s a good way to bring a poster to life but people can still read it without having a seizure.”

In his recently released font Louisette the young-designer’s talents for both illustrative and graphic work come together brilliantly. Inspired by rounded typefaces from the 1970s, Arnaud set out designing this funky reverse-contrast font as though “the serif was the most important part of the letter.” The result – which could quite easily be “an old inverted wood-type font made from chewing gum” – is as delightful as you’d expect; a series of plump little letters with bulbous serifs clumped at the end. Having started work on the font almost two years ago, Louisette is Arnaud’s longest running project and one he’s incredibly proud to see set free into the world. “It’s the longest work I’ve done,” he tells us, “and I am so pleased to finally be able to sell it.”

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Arnaud Aubry: Askip

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Arnaud Aubry: Kostar Magazine

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Arnaud Aubry: Black Zone Myth Chant

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Arnaud Aubry: Les Nuits de Saint-Sauveur

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Arnaud Aubry: Louisette

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Arnaud Aubry: Puddle

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Arnaud Aubry: Cycle Jeu Vidéo for Stereolux