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Photo of Alice Lagarde by Paloma Pineda
Print’s latest Designer of the Week, Alice Lagarde, talks strong typography, magazine design, and the line between graphic design inspiration and plagiarism.
Name: Alice Lagarde
Design school attended: I went to Ensaama, Olivier de Serres in Paris
How would you describe your work?I specialize in press and publishing and am obsessed with balancing photography, typography and meaning. My goal is to find consistency between message and form. Whether it is not only beautiful but also eye-catching, we need people to read and not just look at the pages.
But more generally, I would say that I have a rather masculine style; I like the simple and symmetric models, with strong typography so there is no need for embellishment.
Where do you find inspiration?The eternal question! It was even my diploma’s subject, this line between inspiration and plagiarism. So I’ve strongly thought about it for a year.
Now, there are so many tools that allow us to use images. Pinterest is great for that; it allows me to organize my cravings. But I would say that the work of my contemporaries has a great influence on me; in my field, we must stick to the trend.
With time I sharpened my eye; I watch everything, I decrypt all: Books, posters, art, information boards, the lines of a sports field … everything can be translated graphically.
Who are some of your favorite designers or artists?In graphic design, I love the work of Fanette Mellier, Malte Martin, Leslie David, Helmo or Ill studio (French only). I am also very influenced by illustration; it is also part of my job to commission illustrators. I would name Jean André, Lan Truong, Michela Picchi, Vincent Godeau, Simon Roussin or Kate Copeland. They all have very different worlds—go take a look!
Do you have a favorite among all the projects you’ve worked on?I have a penchant for a project I did only for myself. As I work in the press, I have to deal with the existing identity of the magazine.
One day I decided to create a magazine from scratch by imagining the cover of my dreams. What’s funny is that these covers of this fake magazine, The Fashionable Society, had considerable success on Pinterest, being shared hundreds of times! I did create a fashion blog from this cover but it lasted … one week—I’m better in graphic design rather than in blogging!
Is there a project that stands out to you as having been the biggest challenge of your career so far?I think that there is not a specific project but rather the position I currently occupy, which is the challenge. I’m in charge of the graphic design of three magazines (I’m below Karel Balas’ authority, founder of Milk Magazine) and of the agency Fovea, also. (There is the magazine but also a communication agency that has luxury brands like Dior as clients.) I must constantly be creative and find new ideas.
What do you hope to accomplish in the future?I am really passionate about the world of fashion magazines. I want to earn my stripes of artistic director, prepare the photo shoots and—why not—writing articles! I’m already working closely with the editor-in-chief on the magazine’s content and hope to continue in this direction.
What’s your best advice for designers today?I’m still young, but my best advice would be to find your own style and not look too much at other’s work—this can be very crippling at the beginning. It is an environment where comparing yourself is very easy and can be demotivating. The important thing is to take pleasure in this work and to try to constantly improve.
Additional magazine design work from Lagarde:
Want the latest resources on magazine design? Check out MyDesignShop, where you’ll find resources like DJ Stout’s Variations on a Rectangle: The Art of Magazine Design.
Plus, from now until June 7 you can take advantage of our Friends & Family Summer Savings!
If you’re interested in being considered for Designer of the Week, please email a headshot, 5–10 images of your work (around 628px max width if possible) and answers to the below questions to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Designer of the Week.
Name:Name of Firm/Studio, if applicable:Location:Website:How would you describe your work?Design school attended, if applicable:Where do you find inspiration?Who are some of your favorite designers or artists?Do you have a favorite among all the projects you’ve worked on? (Please provide an image of this project if possible.)Is there a project that stands out to you as having been the biggest challenge of your career so far? (Please provide an image of this project if possible.)What do you hope to accomplish in the future?What’s your best advice for designers today?