From a gruff Glaswegian growl to an Essex wide boy’s clipped vowels, we’ve got some damn good accents here in the UK. These peculiarities of pronunciation are something that has fascinated illustrator Jean Jullien ever since he first moved to the UK from France and was his inspiration when creating the poster you’ll find in the new issue of Printed Pages, which you can get your mitts on now.
Like each of the posters you lucky people discover squirrelled away in every issue, our brief to Jean was to create a poster on the theme of ‘nice’. Although Jean tells us that “waves” are the first thing that comes to mind when hearing the word, he wanted to take a more linguistic angle for his poster design and took the opportunity to celebrate his adopted home. “I’ve been living in England for a while but still have a pretty weird accent,” Jean tells us. “I was thinking about pronunciation of the word ‘nice’ and the fact that some people say it in a way that’s more like “nOice”. I was trying to come up with a graphic translation of that.”
Sketching out a few different typographic and figure-led options, which you can have a sneak peek of below, Jean then penned the chosen design with his trademark expressive brush pen. Afterward he took the sketches into the computer to add the colours – well, shades of grey – an ode perhaps to the British weather.
Aside from creating our poster, it’s been a a busy month for Jean. He launched a new collection for his clothing brand Nounou (including his take on Hawaiian shirts inspired by his sketches of surfers and beach scenes, coral and seaweed) and opened two shows – one at Studio Concrete in Seoul and the other at Tokyo’s Gallery Target. The former exhibits prints featuring Jean’s humorous takes on relationships, family and ageing plus an freshly made elephant rug and 20 concrete elephants with pencil-shaped trunks. “They’re said to have a great memory, which again fits in well with the idea of noticing getting older and remembering your history,” says Jean. “I’ve also always been amazed by the fact that some elephants can draw.”
The second show at Gallery Target features a new series of paintings that Jean has been working on passionately for the past few months, all themed around seas he’s visited, from Malibu to Brittany, to Japan and Iceland. “It seems like the sea is the same, a travelling companion that reminds you of home,” he says. “It’s an incredibly powerful element, changing yet constant. The paintings are a mix of observations and inventions, taking inspiration from my experiences and trying to bring out what I found calming about it.”
But if you can’t shlep all the way to Japan or Korea to see either of Jean’s shows, know that you can have your very own exhibition at home courtesy of the new Printed Pages SS18. Stick Jean’s poster on your wall, invite all your mates over and open some fizz for you own private view. Nice one, or should we say ‘noice’.