CÔME DE BOUCHONY — Interview
Côme de Bouchony, French art director and designer working and living in Paris.
Hello Côme, how are you ?
I just went back from the French countryside where I celebrated my 30th birthday with all my friends and family, so I’m tired but very happy, thank you for asking!
Can you introduce yourself?
I am a French art director living and working in Paris. My studio creates art direction and design for printed and moving image, in the fields of arts, culture, fashion and commerce.
Where does your interest in graphic design come from?
It goes back a long way! I grew up in an artistic environment, (my mother was working for a famous French children’s publishing house and my father is a painter) so design was already in the air. I recently realized that when I was a kid I used to “re-art direct” car magazines from my uncles during summertime in the family house… Then I started to draw cars, and entered a school to eventually become a car designer. Now I don’t care about cars anymore, but design is still here!
How do you define your design style?
Well it’s not for me to say! But that’s an interesting question because I’m not searching a particular style, from my point of view, having a trademarked style is a quite scary idea. I like to surprise and to be surprised, things that are evolving, unexpected. In the end I would love people to get an attitude or a general feeling, more than an aesthetic style. This said, versatile and as a designer, I have a strong penchant for typography.
We would like to know more about the Choices Paris identity you made.
The Choices team approached to create the identity of the first edition of a gallery weekend in Paris. We created a global black and white text-based identity, the most critical element being the use of Dutch Mediaeval typeface, by Hans van Maanen, an expanded version of what is arguably the most classic and popular of all historic Dutch faces: Sjoerd Hendrik de Roos’s Hollandse Mediaeval from 1912. Our contributions to Choices include the guidebook, website, map, signage and wayfinding, invitations and other print materials. This edition was a success and I’m happy to say we’re already working on the next one.
You are the co-founder of FIGURE magazine. Can you tell us more?
I’m glad you ask about another project, which is very close to my heart! I started FIGURE with my dear friend and artist Vincent de Hoÿm in 2011. Back then he was an independent designer as well, and we both had this passion for magazines, portraits, discovering mixing and introducing great talents to a wider audience. We both knew we wanted to have our own magazine at some point.
So when he closed his studio to concentrate on more personal projects, it was the good time to think about a project together. We became creative and editorial directors of this magazine, our goal was to create a humble and beautiful objet that people would collect. We considered each issue to be like our ideal dinner casting, were you get the chance to meet fantastic people, whether they are famous or anonymous, experienced or young guns, doing great stuff in art, design, music, architecture, nature, photography, medias, gastronomy, style, sport…
We worked with talented writers, journalists, photographers, illustrators, printers, and we had excellent feedbacks on FIGURE #1. Unfortunately we also discovered what publishing independent publishing means. The first issue was crowdfunded, and for the second issue we had to organize the future, seek for advertisers and sponsors, and that’s something we didn’t know and didn’t had the time to deal with. Plus we had kind of a law fight with a photographers’ agency for the name, and after many hesitations we decided to put the project on hold.
Despite that, in the end it is probably the project I enjoyed the most making, and I am still the most proud of. I’m very eager to create a new project like FIGURE in the future, or working for a good title, I hope that I will have this opportunity very soon.
Is there any designer or artist you appreciate a lot?
There’s to many to just name one, sorry!
Which books are on your bedside table?
Le Royaume, the latest book by one of my favorite writers, Emmanuel Carrère, and photo books.
The last word …
Interview : Dennis Moya & Tiffany Baehler – 11.14
Images ©Côme de Bouchony.