Mathieu Labrecque treats his playful pixel illustrations like a mathematical puzzle
The Montréal-based creative, who has created commissions from The New York Times and Bloomberg, bases his work on the two pillars of creating lively characters and searching for “evocative visual systems”.
Continually developing his approach, Mathieu Labrecque is an illustrator who finds great joy in stylistic multiplicity. And, when trying to conjure up his favourite illustrators, he tells us it’s a task too hard, as he simply loves too many. “I love to see one’s work take on multiple surprising stylistic directions,” he says, “just as much as I will be deeply moved by the very refined and rich world of a more narrow approach.”
Traditionally Mathieu’s work exists as a blend of analogue and digital techniques; realising his line work with pencils or pens, before cleaning it up in Photoshop. His recent work for Cidre Sauvageon, reworking their labels and logo, is a brilliant example of this charmingly, rustic yet clean cut approach. However, more recently Mathieu has been experimenting with pixel design, his first entirely digital approach. Enjoying how it exists as something both “mathematical” and “puzzle”-like, the style has injected a breath of fresh air into Mathieu’s practice: “A grid made of limited tiny squares feels like an existing language you learn to speak with.”
GalleryMathieu Labrecque: Cidre Sauvageon (Copyright © Mathieu Labrecque, 2022)
Mathieu Labrecque: Centre Phi (Copyright © Mathieu Labrecque, 2022)
About the Author
Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.