Alexis Jamet works with brands like Nike or Rimowa on projects where their animated illustrations and designs are the protagonists. He began by studying hand lettering. Then, with the world of skateboarding, he discovered magazines, music videos and animated movies. Alexis has had the opportunity to work in the past for agencies and brands in France, Spain, North America and England. Now, he shares his time between graphic design, art direction, and illustration.
To know a little more about you, Alexis: you are a designer, illustrator but we also see videos in your portfolio, how do all these disciplines coexist within the same person?
I started by making illustration, then design and finally video. Working with different mediums is a good way to keep me active. However, I think these disciplines are complementary to each other and aren’t very far away. If you had said that I was a fireman, a doctor and a carpenter at the same time, well, my answer would have been different and more impressive, (laughs).
How did you get your start in the design world? Did you have any references that made you want to follow this path?
Like a lot of people, it began with skateboarding, watching videos, magazines and board graphics but also watching animated movies and music videos. Just after middle school, I studied hand lettering for 2 years. I was around 15 years old at that time and it was kind of my first introduction to typography. It was a 'professional high school' for kids who were not academic enough. After that, I studied graphic design and started to have my first jobs.
It’s always hard for me to summarise all the references and people who inspired me in just a few lines so in short, I’ll say my friends who were are interested in any form of art and design.
Alexis Jamet Metalmagazine 7.gif
On your Instagram, we can see animated designs. How did you learn this technique?
Instagram is a good platform to show animated works although it’s displayed on a tiny screen. I think I just started animations by making animated titles for skate videos.
You were born in France but you have also worked in England, Spain and America. What kind of influences did these countries bring to you, as a designer?
Back then, I was looking for myself and how to define my practice so I felt I needed to see how it was in other countries. I felt that being 'multidisciplinary' wasn’t really accepted in France. Things are changing but for a long time, it wasn’t the case.
A lot of the artists and designers I admire are here in France but are 'specialists' in what they do. And finally, living and working in these different studios showed me some good examples of designers and studios combining several practices and mediums. And of course, I later discovered designers in France too. Before, I was just too young to see things around me, haha.
Your illustrations are covered with 'noise' and at the same time, your shapes float and dance alongside different fonts. How do you develop this style? Is it difficult to stay true to yourself and work with brands who have a specific identity?
Printed matters and textures always attracted me either from a book or the grain in a movie. So if I want to bring that feeling into my animations the best way is to use paper not only software. But I actually also love a slick and clean aesthetic. So far it was not that difficult because usually brand briefs are quite open and they let me play with their branding and identity.
Finally, the hardest part is to make people change the initial commission. I’m sometimes a bit tired of clients and art directors asking me to reproduce something I’ve already done in the past and are afraid of new proposals and experiments.
Alexis Jamet Metalmagazine 3.jpg
Your clients range from international brands like Nike or Rimowa to collaborations for more personal fanzines. Do you think this combination is necessary to keep moving forward?
Definitely, in my case, these two practices feed off each other. Commissions are a good way to make a living. And personal projects like books or residencies are a way to think differently and to try and fail.
On your website, we can see the animations for Hermès Making Lab, a workshop on the iconic closures of the French brand's bags. Tell us a bit about the project, is it difficult to create a visual language for a process as mechanical as this one?
It was a twelve-metre long wooden roller coaster installation made by designer Jean Simon Roch, which translated into movement and animated objects. The various gestures required to open Hermès objects… I was in charge to design the signage system and a series of didactic videos featuring some Hermès pieces. These videos were displayed on olds monitors from the '80s and '90s. Luckily, I had the opportunity to visit the Hermès workshop where engineers showed me their 3D files on how the mechanics are made.
One of your latest projects in Spain was in collaboration with the Catalan studio Cordova Canillas, called Design for Posidonia, where several design brands came together to raise funds for an NGO in charge of fighting against the loss of seagrass in the Balearic Islands. What was it like working with so many people involved in the same cause?
Ricardo, a friend from the time I was living in Barcelona started an internship at Cardova Canillas and contacted me in order to know if I’d be interested to be involved in this project.
I said yes, and I ended up being part of the campaign with my illustrations and some animations. I wasn’t directly working with other designers but It was definitely nice to see this gathering around the same cause. It was my first work for a cause and just a few weeks later I was asked to work on another similar project around sustainability.
Alexis Jamet Metalmagazine 10.jpg
For some time now, we have been able to get hold of some of your posters on the Éditions FP&CF website. Do you miss the analogue or editorial part of being able to touch your works? What do you think of this digital path that the world of design has taken?
Oh cool, we’re about to release a new one actually! I don’t think I miss it because I have grown up watching design on the internet so the digital part has always been there for me as much as books, t-shirts or posters. To produce physical work is obviously more satisfying but digital is nice as well. A movie or a digital experience is not tangible but it still exists.
Any future projects or collaborations that you can reveal?
I’m working on a music festival identity that hopefully will happen, fingers crossed. And some collaborations with publishing houses and brands should come up later this month.
Alexis Jamet Metalmagazine 2.jpg
Alexis Jamet Metalmagazine 4.jpg
Alexis Jamet Metalmagazine 9.jpg
Alexis Jamet Metalmagazine 1.jpg
Alexis Jamet Metalmagazine 4.jpg
Alexis Jamet Metalmagazine 8.jpg