Testimonial of a Graphic Design student on the Brand Design program of the 3CI course
After a 2-year diploma in Graphic Design, Jérémy began the Brand Design option of the International Class in September 2015, for students with a background in Graphic Design, Product Design or Scenography, and interested in brand strategy.
Tell us about your background. What did you do before joining the International Class in Brand design?
My career path has been honed over several years. I started out doing a vocational baccalaureate in graphic production at Albert Bayet high school in Tours (37), where I discovered the graphics industry and acquired basic skills in layout, typography and pre-press. I then went straight on to do a 2-year advanced diploma in Graphic Design majoring in digital media in Blois (41) where I discovered the key concepts of design and learnt to create consistent visual identities, web design and motion design using project and creation methodology. I had the chance to do my internship in Birmingham in a small web design and branding agency and came top of the class in my exams, which meant I was able to join the International Class at L’École de design Nantes Atlantique in September 2015.
Why did you choose to enroll in L’École de design’s International Class? And what made you choose the Brand Design course?
I wanted to join the International Class because I wanted to get into L’École de design to do my Master’s so this was the ideal way in. I’ve been passionate about visual identity since my advanced diploma, and my experience in graphic design naturally led me to choose Brand Design.
I chose this course without a second thought for many reasons: the school’s excellent reputation in the professional sector, the specialized aspect of the Brand Design course and obviously the cultural interaction with our foreign classmates and the beneficial impact on our English level (one of the biggest advantages).
What I find really interesting is that despite the fact we don’t do an internship during the year, the course has a strong professional emphasis thanks to the long project. This project lasts for a whole semester and is carried out under a confidentiality agreement. We had to find a solution for a specific problem in a company by studying their market, competition and existing procedures in order to give them design strategies in accordance with the brief. Each strategy had to be substantiated. We had to prove the effectiveness of our strategy by demonstrating examples that had successfully used this approach. The proposals varied enormously from one to the next: concept stores, packaging, street marketing, web sites, etc. The proposals prove that branding provides a real solution to marketing problems by using a design vision which is global yet adapted to a specific problem.
After the first stage of strategy proposals, we developed detailed concepts and finally one concept was selected for implementation. Each phase of the project had to be presented to the clients (in English of course), which is really challenging and rewarding.
Apart from the long project, the lessons most geared to the Branding Design specialty are the workshops and graphic design. In graphic design for example we had to create a brand of natural cosmetics. Once again, the graphic design is preceded by a study of the cosmetics market in order to position our brand in the market depending on a target to be determined, and the values that the brand will convey. Another example is the creation of a brand of mineral water, in other words a neutral product which we had to differentiate and position in the market.
Recently, we took part in an international workshop taught by Stefan Bufler (Graphic Designer and lecturer at Augsburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany) accompanied by Jerôme Heno (Graphic Designer and lecturer at L’École de design). In one week we had to create the identity of a club for people with an unusual phobia. I worked on a club for globophobics (fear of balloons). We designed the identity of the club and created its visual identity, then we applied it and adapted it to a poster or an app to recruit members, letter headed paper and the club membership card as well as the venue where the club would meet.
During the course, we also have the chance to express our opinions about other subjects such as:
- the Bachelor’s project (solving a problem independently during the year using a design solution) where we can use graphic design, product design, interaction design, etc. depending on our projects and preferences.
- visual art which allows us to express ourselves graphically
What do you like most about this course (lessons, atmosphere, course content, etc.)? In your opinion what are the strengths of this course?
What I like most about this course is the design approach in itself. It has helped me reinforce the skills of graphic designer that I acquired during my advanced diploma through a more global approach (strategy, market research, proposing and implementing concepts). The emphasis on teamwork is also an interesting challenge which I wasn’t familiar with and it has prepared me for my future career in an agency or company. But the real distinguishing feature of this class is the interaction with our foreign friends.
What do you plan to do after the International Class? Continue your studies, future ambitions, etc.
After the International Class, I’m continuing my studies on the Master’s program in Design Management and Innovation as an apprentice at L’École de design Nantes Atlantique. I’m going to do my apprenticeship at Graphéine agency in Lyon (specialized in brand identities) – we’ve already finalized the agreement and I begin next September. I’m really happy to be able to finish my studies with a work-study project which will give me the perfect balance between professional experience in an agency and school.