Interview with Studio Jimbo


Interview with Paris-based Studio Jimbo.

DM: Hello Jimbo how are you?

JB: I’m good, thank you. I’m coming back from a trip in NYC, full of energy with lots of new projects super interesting to work on. Back to school is exciting!

DM: Can you introduce yourself?

JB: I grew up in Ardèche, in a place quite isolated between the vineyards and the forest but I’ve been living in Paris for 10 years now. After graduating I worked in an agency for a year and half. I founded Studio Jimbo 4 years ago. 

DM: Where does your interest in graphic design come from?

JB: From as far as I can remember I picture myself a pencil in my hand, rather lonely, curious, independent and always drawing. When I was very young, from elementary school, design started to create its universe into me, little by little. I had to match these sneakers with this t-shirt. I was fighting with my mom in the morning because I didn’t want to wear a sweater with an ugly logo on it. I was choosing cereals because of the mascot’s design instead of the taste. All these details were deeply important for me. 

When I was a teenager, I discovered skate and graffiti. It was a big satisfaction because I met some people who had an opinion on a skate brand logo’s or a board’s design. With those people I could talk about typography and from then I started to open myself to other people, to share and meet a community. I kind of put my parents through a lot. They didn’t work in any artistic field, even though they always had good taste. They realized quite early that I was a creative person and always pushed me into it. When we were traveling they would bring me to the museum and exhibitions. When I was a kid, my mother signed me up for children lessons at Les Beaux-Arts. After middle school, she is the one who showed me that design schools existed, and that I should have good grades and I should work hard to get in. Before that I was a lazy kind of person at school, I would do the minimum and rather think about the next graffiti I would do or about another one I saw through the school bus window. Then, when I understood that design schools were really selective, I moved my ass and hustled, and this move let me do the studies I wanted.

DM: Would you like to talk about one of your recent project?

JB: Recently, I did a poster for a party for the Parisian DJ Teki Latex. I love working with him, his universe is super rich, he always trusts me, and we share a common passion for food. Contrary to other clients I have, he always comes up with an idea and a really precise brief that looks more like the synopsis of a crazy Japanese anime or a SF movie that would be way better than many existing ones. When he told me about his ideas, the poster was already building itself in my head and everything became intuitive. For this last poster La Technique, his idea was to make a visual that would look like a dojo invitation, the kind of place where people gather to share an ancestral art with secrete ninjas techniques. I had to create something effective, simple as a random leaflet you bump into while leaving your karate class. In a way, it’s really different from the things I’m used to do. Then he wrote a kind of doctrine that I put into a dotted line frame, as if it was detachable. I used Time and just created a kind of title / logo, in the end I was really happy about the result. 

DM: How challenging is to have a design studio in Paris today?

JB: Paris is small, but a hard-working city with a sustained pace. It’s also a very cultural city, with always many things to do and beautiful things to see. So everyday you need to up the ante. Moreover life is expensive, so you should not count on doing visuals for your friends!

DM: How do you feel about the current design scene of Paris?

JB: There are many design studios in Paris, and many very good design studios whom I admire the work. Everyone is doing their thing, bringing their universe into various fields. Whether you like it or not. I’m no one to say that, but what I’m less comfortable with are those Parisian schools that train kids to become competitors and pretentious who know how to do everything and who saw everything. True life is: being yourself, being curious and doing what you love. 

Dennis Moya

English translation:
Fanny Shin


©Studio Jimbo
Portrait by Hugo Anglade

Graphic Design