Leslie David

[Ed note: Print will be
featuring one New Visual Artist per day while the issue is on
newsstands. Keep checking back every weekday for new profiles on printmag.com. You can view
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T-shirt prints for Surface to Air collection, 2008.

Title: Art Director, Illustrator
From: Montelimar, France
Lives in: Paris
Age: 23
Leslie David got her start in design as a college dropout. She left Ecole des Arts Decoratifs in Strasbourg just before her final term to take a job at the fashion-forward French ad agency Petronio Associates. There she had the opportunity to apply her background in design and illustration to the agency’s biannual fashion and culture magazine, Self Service, as well as projects for clients like Colette, Chloe, Pucci, and Miu Miu. 
Her work is at once decorative and restrained, incorporating collage, hand-drawn elements, a minimalist approach to typography, and a healthy appreciation for Art Deco. Her eye for shadow and shape has led to a successful clothing collaboration with the label Surface to Air. Her work with the interior design company Domestic indulges her M.C. Escher-style influences, while her work for Magazine, which she made with the French artist and illustrator Charlotte Delarue, shows off her expertise in collage and pattern. 
In fact, her roots in illustration are front and center in all her projects, including more recent creations like album covers for Roeyksopp and Revolver. Her art direction for Redux, meanwhile, is filled cover to cover with her playful, illustrative typefaces. 
Whether dealing in cut and paste or pen and paper, David begins each assignment with sketches done in pencil. “I play with the softness of the pencil to create gradients,” she says. “I don’t like the Illustrator gradient effect. It’s too clean for me.” 
David’s aesthetic has other touchstones as well. Her biggest influences, from Björk to Pipilotti Rist, are women, and she happily admits that it’s been “important to have examples of women with their own strong sense of style in a masculine business.” 
 
Personal design project exploring typography, 2009.

[View the entire list of winners here.]  

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