Anaïs Bourdet, graphic designer living between Marseille and Buenos Aires.

Hello Anaïs Bourdet, how are you?

Hi! I’m fine, thank you! Working on my first solo exhibition ever, it’s really exciting! It will take place from June 19th to July 12th at Association d’Idées gallery in Marseille.

Can you introduce yourself?

I’m an independent graphic designer, living between Marseille and Buenos Aires. I am 29, and I graduated from ECV Provence. Since 2010 I am working essentially on editorial, branding projects and illustration for several brands and cultural organizations. I have also been part of the 5M Collective.

Where does your interest in graphic design come from?

I have been drawing since I was a child, as many other graphic designers I guess. I’ve also always loved words, texts, books… Then at ECV I discovered editorial design, typography, branding and many more ways to play with texts, pictures and meanings. Graphic design is a powerful way of expression, giving a physical shape to someone’s project is always a great challenge. I like the relation between an idea and its concrete applications. Each project has its own characteristics and specificities, therefore each working day is different. It’s really stimulating.

Can you tell us more about your project « Paye ta Shnek »? What was the idea?

In July 2012 I saw a video made by Sophie Peeters. This young Belgian woman had been filming men who approached her while she was walking in the street. The words I could hear then were really violent. The video made a huge buzz, and medias then started talking about street harassment.

A few days after I witnessed it, a man chased me by car through the streets of Marseille, because I didn’t answer when he called out to me. I talked about it with some girl friends, and realized each of us has lived similar scary/funny/really scary stories. I then decided to collect on a blog all those sentences women heard in streets nowadays. To prove that street harassment does really exist, and in all social classes.

How was the impact of such a project?

Huge! Five days after creating the blog, I was already receiving one thousand and half messages per day, coming from everywhere in Europe. I think women are bored of staying silent, and PTS quickly became like a way for many of them to express themselves. Each contribution seems to be a kind of revenge, so the blog has received a massive and unexpected welcome. I really hope that the ironic, and often funny aspect of the project allows some interesting conversations to be opened, beyond the creativity of some men.

One year later I had more than 4000 testimonies, and auto-edited a book with all these sentences, thanks to 222 people who helped the project on KissKissBankbank. Prefaced by two lawyers, Leila Hamzaoui Charat and Valence Borgia, the book also provides a reminder about street harassment, from a legal point of view. It is now edited by Mazarine for Fayard and can be found everywhere. That is totally crazy, it all happened so fast I’m still trying to realize!

As a young designer, what is your thought about the graphic design’s consideration in France?

As an independent, I feel the graphic design as a profession that still remains vague, because only few people really knows what it’s like. The way companies or institutions sometimes work with designers could be clearer and better organized. On the other side, graphic design’s place on the French creative scene keeps growing. Many institutions are now working with very good designers, and many influences from all Europe meet in France, so the visual landscape is getting richer and richer.

Is there any designer you appreciate a lot?

Fanette Mellier, to me her work is really stunning, delicate and very efficient at the same time. I also really admire Irma Boom’s work.

Which books are on your bedside tables?

“Why I have not written any of my books” by Marcel Bénabou, and some novels.

The last word…




Interview : Dennis Moya & Tiffany Baehler – 05.14

Design : ©Anaïs Bourdet — Photos : ©Samuel Guigues.

Graphic Design