Focal Point: Getting back to basics with Leslie David

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Leslie David is a very busy lady, but she still managed to have a quick chat with us about her work processes. Whether working for high profile brands like Lancôme or making artwork for musicians like Röyksopp, she’s got a knack for making work that’s simple and beautiful, yet bursting with identity. Nowadays she works from her Parisian studio, but she got her start in design after studying at Strasbourg’s Ecole des Arts Decoratifs and taking a job at ad agency Petronio Associates.

*Photo Credit: Carol Burri

Her client list reads like an ABC of the fashion, music and design world – from A.P.C, to Because Music to Chanel by way of Givenchy, Hermès and the New York Times, with her evocative style mixing up delicate design and hand-drawn elements with a dose of Art Deco, and classic typography. Having launched her own studio in 2009, David’s company focuses on print and global branding in art, beauty, fashion, music and culture… and her contribution to these creative industries is pretty impressive. Paris will forever be associated with all that is chic, and from the swoops of colour in David's work for Lancôme to her elegant font work, there's no doubt that she's is an illustrator and designer who keeps her cool in all aspects of her creative output. Even David's work in progress tumblr reveals her to have her eye on colour and shape from the outset. So, check out some of her work for yourself, and fall in love with this very French designer.

What’s the most exciting brief you’ve ever had through your inbox?
For Lancôme the brief was pretty fun, basically they sent me over all their make up products and I could what ever I wanted with them! I had so much fun experimenting with the colors and textures.

Does Paris have a certain graphic design style? We noticed you’ve worked for Kitsune, who for us Londoner’s kinda sums up the Parisian vibe...
Fashion or graphic design wise I think the French style could be sum up like that: classic and traditional bases with twisted details (a color, a type, a shape...)

How do you keep your ideas fresh? What’s the best unfinished project you’ve got under your belt?
I don't like routine, and I'm a travel addict (even if I don't travel as much as I'd like), when I come back to the office after a break I feel fresh and ready for new ideas. A lot [of unfinished projects] unfortunately, can't pick one. It's hard to be trusted by a client, I often feel they are destroying my work by choosing the wrong direction... It could be very frustrating.

Do you have any unique work habits?
Mostly bad habits! Like checking every email when they arrive and changing task every 10 minutes... I do my best to stay focus but it's hard sometimes.

Do you have a motto?
A new motto everyday!

What advice do you wish you’d had when you started your first job?
Even if the teachers say so, graphic design it's not just about ideas and creativity, there is much more to learn. Marketing, managing and administrative things would have been really helpful to learn then.


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