« En filigrane », that’s the name I was considering for my practice. A name evocative of what goes on in the backyard, of what is suggested in transparency, and of what attests to authenticity. Because I work with what cannot be seen and yet is there.
It’s a name that I liked very much because I’m a lover of writing and beautiful papers. It is with this name in mind that I started looking for a printer who knows how to make a business card that I would be happy to hand over and that my clients would like to keep.
And that idea hasn’t left me, even though the company is now called De la suite dans les grenouilles.
The golden nugget
nůn is a golden nugget from Strasbourg, co-founded by Marielle De Vaulx and Vincent Lamarche. Marielle and Vincent bring tradition and modernity in the field of graphic arts together under the same roof, between printing in typography* and web design.
Marielle is the duet’s typographer. She uses a process in which the printing is made by relief characters assembled and laid out. Marielle’s work is in line with Gutenberg’s work, in a perpetuation of a know-how that has now become rare. This rarity can be explained by the search for speed and the lowest cost, abandoning custom-made productions, which depend on the hand of Man and whose execution requires time.
When I chose to work with nundesign, I opted for sensoriality, ingenuity and humanity. And I realized the links between Marielle’s typographic body of work and my own practice at De la suite dans les grenouilles.
What is the alternative when the usual channels of information – words and images – are saturated? Betting on sensoriality. Printing on creative paper and typography gives a “hand” to the business card. This “hand” is what I convey to my clients when I give them my business card: an approach based on respect for oneself and for others, in an encounter that is each time unique, with professionalism, care, and aiming at a long-lasting result.
Typography is an ingenious process. What if I told you that the printing press is driven by a single motor and a single belt? And that this apparent simplicity nevertheless allows varied movements and very fine adjustments? My clients are ingenious too. Sometimes they have forgotten that they are. Sometimes they imagine that it’s complicated, so it gets complicated. My job is to get them back in touch with their native ingenuity. And all of a sudden: simplicity is regained.
How can we remain human while working with machines? Those of us who have ever weighed against our working tool understand the tension that automatic mechanics can bring and we can’t argue with it. Looking at Marielle, I see that she works along with her machine, rather than against it. For the machine has its limits, and the machine has its own way of giving us feedback on those limits, doesn’t it? When I accompany my clients, I find that the topic of limits is often brought up. And dwelling on the limits leads to interesting discoveries. Come and discover them with me.
*Formed from Greek τ υ π ο ́ς ” mark, imprint, engraved character ” (see type and typo-) and γ ρ α ́φ ω ” I write ” (see graph-)