Back in January when I was getting home to Paris from sunny South Africa, I opened my mailbox to find it overflowing, mostly with junk mail, but happily in its midst was the cutest card. No more than 3X3 inches, It was shaped like a little envelope, however, on the other side it was tied closed with the tiniest pink ribbon. I threw down my pile of flyers and random bills, eager to open this little paper delight. Inside were 12 pinterest boards, one for each month of 2016, 12 inspirations for the new year. I was thrilled and henceforth inspired by this ingenious New Year’s greeting card to touch base with its creator, the talent Aurelie Dhuit.
In late 2012 when I was doing a last edit on my first book, I knew I’d need to start thinking about the book cover. My new friend Aurélie Dhuit seemed like the perfect designer for the job, I found her graphic work for brands like Le Palais des Thés, Jean Paul Gaultier or Longchamps to be contemporary with a delicate, feminine touch. From the start Aurélie’s astute process of creation and originality thoroughly impressed me. The following January I had my first card surprise in the mailbox, that time with her new year’s greeting inspired by my book (below)! I had no idea that Aurélie also made beautiful custom cards. I was again reminded of this when I received her new wonderful “card set” (above) so I thought it would be interested to get behind the mind of this creative designer with anglo-inspired with French flare.
Tell us a little bit about your background, how long have you been a graphic designer?
I’ve been a graphic designer since 2003, however, when I was younger I always thought I’d be a scientist, then when when I discover this other path, my whole life changed. Not a day has gone by that I’ve regretted this decision. I think that creating and creativity are an integral part of my personality, incidentally I’ll soon be doing a new course towards another artistic career in addition to my work as a graphic design. If you need flower arrangements for a future event I hope to soon be launching my own flower shop.
What are some of your design inspirations?
AD: Everything I set my eyes on are sources of inspiration! Nature, snippets of daily life, places I visit; I have a bit of a nomadic life and I love traveling, even if I can’t do it all the time, I adore seeing new cultures from which I learn a lot and gain tons of inspiration! England, the U.S. and Canada are places which strongly inspire my work, I find their vision of events to be fantastic! I’d like to bring their ingenuity and dynamism to France… with my little “Frenchy” touch.
How did you start making print work, invitations and cards?
AD: I’ve always prefered print: paper, inks, and print techniques enliven my creativity. The first cards I made were for my family and I was instantly smitten! I feel amazing creative freedom when I work on invitations or greeting cards. I strive to create unique invitations, paying careful attention to detail because an invitation sets the tone for the whole event, it’s the guests first impression.
Tell us a little about the working process between you and your clients.
When talking about inspiration, the first inspiration I have is the clients themselves, what and how they communicate on the event or topic, this exchange is very important. Clients don’t always know what they want, but I don’t ask them to “create” for me. While we’re talking about their project, through their words, their intonations and their inspirations, I start to see the surrounding ambiance and my role is to transmit this visually. As such, I’ve often found that my profession speaks directly to people’s subconscious, it’s a fascinating part of the creative process! Then I propose 2 or 3 maquette options and from the one they feel the most connected to we finetune if necessary and then proceed with the printing of the card.
Can you give us an example of a very successful or special design that you worked on?
My laser cut-out cards have had a lot of success (see below) and I get a lot of pleasure from working on these. For me they perfectly combine what I love about print, graphic design, beautiful paper and the techniques of printing, even if these cards do not have any “printing,” in the true sense of the word, but if I could do a laser cut-out card with printing, I’d be on cloud nine!
To finish, what’s your favorite place in Paris?
On the lawn of La Villette in summer during the open air cinema festival.
Merci beaucoup Aurélie! Aurélie speaks English well and does custom invitations for wedding, birthday or other special events, baby announcements and holiday greetings in addition to her digital graphic design. You can see more of Aurélie’s work and contact her directly on her site at this link.
You can also look out for Aurélie’s designs on my next book, Je T’Aime… Maybe? Due out in the fall in addition to an exciting new project we are working on!