Brest Brest Brest: so good they named it three times! Actually not based in the French city of Brest but split between the similarly named Crest and Paris, this graphic design studio specialises in fun and occasionally cheeky work for cultural institutions. Past projects have seen the studio playfully distort and elongate vintage photographs, give every geographical landscape you can imagine googly eyes, and overlay stern black and white portraits with raw eggs, the yolks making for unlikely clowns’ noses. Given we hadn’t sat down with these graphic mischief-makers for four whole years, we decided to quiz them on what’s new. Turns out, quite a lot.
Firstly, two years ago designer Loris Pernoux came into the fold, joining Arnaud Jarsaillon and Rémy Poncet to make a collective of three. Loris brought with him some hefty experience in type, which you can see from the increasing typographic bent of its output. This year it has also launched its own independent publishing house Objet Livre, allowing the studio to put out books by much-loved writers and creatives, as well as kooky posters of its own design.
One of the biggest projects Brest Brest Brest has tackled this year is a new identity for Malraux, the national theatre in Chambéry, which features a characterful typeface by Marc Rouault and aforementioned googly eyes. “Our wishes were to find a balance between derision and elegance, relaxed but rigorous, which would also evoke the geographical context,” the studio tells us. Brest Brest Brest decided to use the local mountain in the design, which stands over the town, contemplating. “It somehow embodies a watchful-eye character, which the audience can immediately associate with the theatre.”
It was essential that Malraux’s new graphic system was flexible enough that in the future it could work with images or with only text, as the photography available for the programme changes each season. As such finding a fitting typefaces was even more important. “Marc Rouault’s Troismille font has great and subtle inspirations in it, such as Roger Excoffon’s Antique Olive and more contemporary details that makes it fit the concept,” it says.
Other recent projects include a campaign for Musilac festival’s Aix-les-Bains edition, featuring the outline of a running creature fashioned from red duct tape, posters for Lyncéus Festival (complete with minute alpinists scaling a giant human’s face), and a slick and snazzy identity for jazz festival Sur le Grill. The trio held an exhibition of never-used collages, research and work in progress, called Bam Bada Boum, which saw the studio organise concerts (they run the label Object Disque), performances, cinema screenings with live music and even banquets. Keep your eyes peeled for a book and signage to accompany the Musée des Arts Décoratifs’ summer show of Cuban posters and a book for Musée des beaux-arts of Strasbourg about painting. Time for a holiday chaps!