THOMAS HERVÉ — Interview

Thomas Hervé, Paris-based graphic designer.

— Hello Thomas Hervé, how are you?

All good guys, happy that I just had launch my new website.

— Can you introduce yourself?

I’m 27 years old, from Paris. I studied at ECAL (University of Art and Design Lausanne) where I graduated in 2013 in Graphic Design. After a quick stop through London, I settled up in Paris from where I run my independent Graphic Design and Art Direction studio.

— Where does your interest in graphic and type design come from?

I don’t precisely recall a spark of inspiration about that, I started early with drawings, photography. I reckon I’ve always been attracted to images, and wanted to work in a creative field. Regarding type design, like lots of kids from Paris, Graffiti was an incentive to discover lettering. But the real direction came at ECAL, where I was lucky to be surrounded by great typographers, teachers but also friends who gave me real input on type design.

— What was the idea behind your graduation work «Moondog»?

When I came across Moondog’s music I felt immediately seduced. It was minimalistic repetitive and I was surprised by the way he managed his life. The lack of photographic archives, surrounding him and his array of specific instruments brings me to the other side of his character that I admire; his charisma, romanticism and mystery.

So because of my fascination and the scarce but powerful imagery of his universe, I decided to resurrect this enigma, and make my research into a contemporary and hybrid object consisting of a biography and a tribute. A mix between material that I picked up and some that I created. To blur the line between reality and fiction. It allowed me to develop a wide range of options regarding the production of materials like photographs, illustrations and music scores.

— Can you tell us more about your work with Asics?

I was happy to lead the art direction for the Asics Lookbook SS15. This project was quite tense in terms of organization and with a super tight schedule.

I teamed up with 2 photographers and a stylist during one day of shooting (Looks and Details shots). The object has a simple form, printed in offset, with a soft cover made of a fluorescent yellow pattern that echoed the main item of the collection. The layout played with layers, putting shoe details in front of portraits and looks.

— Can you explain to us one of your type design projects?

I’m currently working on a cut with the Paris-based studio Golgotha, taken from their G logotype. It is a fantasy display font. Fun and exciting project. The booklet specimen might follow its release.

— Do you have a favorite typeface?

I do not really and I prefer not to stay too attached to anything. I let my mood evolve, as do my practices and projects. I would rather dig into more elegant and historical cuts but I always keep an eye on what the next generation comes up with. The market is really effervescent at the moment and there is a lot of great and exiting foundries being started.

— A designer that you admire?

Really hard to name only one, I pay attention to details, sensitivity, process, aesthetic, balance, but I suck at name-dropping.

— Which books are on your bedside table?

– Mousse & Pin up magazine
– Max Bill Vs Jan Tschichold, La querelle typographique des modernes, B42
– Verities — Deception Issue
But PopcornTime often takes to my bedside.

— The last word…

Have fun, always. Thank you for your interest in my work.

Pictures and projects by Thomas Hervé.

Interview: Dennis Moya + Tiffany Bähler, 05.16


Graphic Design