Looking for design: Marie-Claude Doyon

A few days ago I read about the launch of Vinisimo and suddenly realised I knew who the graphic designer was… I’ve been waiting for a photo and some images from her for a while, but I think this one will do :)

Thank you Marie-Claude for speaking with me, could you describe yourself and your work briefly?

I am an independent graphic designer with interests mostly in conceptual work, typography and our responsibility on the environment. I do web and printed work for my own clients and for some other small graphic design studios. I spent half a year working in a small studio in Rotterdam back in 2006.

How long have you been working professionally in Montreal ?

I started in 1996 building web sites. Since then, I went back to university to obtain a Graphic Design degree at UQAM. I almost always worked as an independent.

Do you consider design to be well understood in Montreal?

It always depends who you are talking to. But I would say that, in general, people are not really aware of what design is, especially in my field of graphic design. When I say that I am a graphic designer, people think that I am a DTP and that I know very well how to use Photoshop or they think I am an artist. Design is in part technical but is mostly about thinking, functionality and concept, and that is what people don’t get. It’s also something that surrounds us so much everyday that we don’t even see it anymore.

In your opinion, what key designers/business are shaping the design scene in Montreal?

To my opinion those businesses/designers have strong remarkable presence in Montréal:

Orange Tango
Sid Lee
Stéphane Huot
– Annie Lachapelle
Alexandre Renzo
Frédéric Metz (has a very good presence and speaks about design in the medias)

What is missing from the Montreal design scene?

We need more implication from everyone and more get togethers. We need to transmit what design is to the public and make it more accessible. I also think that we need to raise our standards and educate our clients instead of doing what they ask of us.

What would you say is the hardest thing about working in design in Montreal?

The general visual culture is not very high. Design and art are not well understood. Conceptual work is very rare.

What would you say is the best thing about working in design in Montreal?

There is a nice community of designers. It’s easy to know who does what. It’s also a city where there is a lot going on in different fields.

Where do the opportunities lie for the future of design in Montreal?

I think it lies in education and in raising our standards to meet those of cities like Amsterdam, London, Berlin, Zürich. It would be great if some of our universities would offer a Master degree in Graphic Design to form more “thinking” people.

If you had the choice to work somewhere else, where would it be?

I would work again in Rotterdam, Netherlands because this city is very alive culturally and there is a lot going on over there in graphic design, industrial design and architecture. I would also like to work in Amsterdam or Berlin.

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Founder of designswarm & the Good Night Lamp. Ex CEO of Tinker London.

5 thoughts on “Looking for design: Marie-Claude Doyon”

  1. hey, the link with paprika is not working.

    great article by the way. i wish there were more people like her in montreal.

  2. Thanks Alexandra for publishing my interview. Annie Lachapelle has her own studio which is called “Atelier Chinotto” (chinotto.ca). Saying that, I realize that 2 out of 3 designers I have listed as of having a strong presence in Montreal don’t even display a “real” website.

  3. hi Marie-Claude! yeh i was trying to find her url desperately, the other ones i gave up :) its always somewhat of a challenge for established designers, they never had to have a website back then :)

  4. Hi Marie-Claude,

    Congratulations for the interview. And by the way, if you come back to Rotterdam, you know that all your friends miss you !

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