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Interview with Nicolas Boon

Home > Designer Interviews > Nicolas Boon

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Nicolas Boon (NB) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Nicolas Boon by clicking here.

Interview with Nicolas Boon at Tuesday 14th of June 2022
Nicolas Boon
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
NB: When I was a kid, I was very attracted to the creative side of things, so I focused on design schools after high school. As I had to take out a loan to subsidize my studies and my life in another country, I realized that product design schools were out of reach. I finally opted for graphic design, which appealed to me because of its eclecticism. I did a bachelor's degree in Brussels at a graphic design school "le 75". I was then admitted to the "ERG" (School of Graphic Research) where I did a first Master 1 and Master 2 specializing in visual and spatial art. I finished my Master jury with the highest distinction. My professional experience started in Brussels for 1 year and continued in Luxembourg for 3 years. I founded my studio in 2014.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
NB: I founded the studio in 2014 at the age of 29. In the studio we work as a couple, my wife and myself. In the beginning the studio was specialised in communication, graphic design, typography, graphic identities, branding and web design. Over the years our expertise has grown, allowing us to combine disciplines and offer clients relevant and comprehensive creative solutions. In the last two years we have developed the product and interior design segment (in correlation with graphic design). Today, the studio is truly multidisciplinary and responds to the most demanding requests.

FS: What is "design" for you?
NB: Design cannot be limited to one discipline, it is by definition the term that links all imaginable creative disciplines. That is why it is obvious that when we create something, it is a game, an interaction between disciplines that gives rise to a work with intrinsic functional and aesthetic qualities that responds to a precise demand and need.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
NB: Products, typefaces, logotypes, packaging

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
NB: Powerpoint presentations with graphic content for Disney/Pixar, Coca Cola, Ubisoft, Sony Playstation.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
NB: I don't have a favourite material, it's its relevance to the project that will determine it. It allows me to sublimate the work or to respond to precise physical characteristics. The same goes for the technologies used.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
NB: There is no specific time. An idea can emerge at any time. Combined with the methodology, it brings out a multitude of possible variations, which leads to the real creative process.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
NB: Intuition plays a fundamental role during the design process, as it will have already preformed the primary idea. Balance is very important for the formal aspect. The poetic and narrative force of a design gives it its soul, its story.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
NB: Freedom, because the drawing is "still" free of constraints. Excitement, because the object is about to be born and exist.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
NB: The satisfaction and obsession to do better.

FS: What makes a design successful?
NB: I think that all design must have a narrative value, a story to tell. I think that beyond the formal reinterpretation, there must be something that touches the heart and sensitivity of the public. I like the unexpected because a design that surprises stays in the memory.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
NB: My first considerations are the originality, the philosophy that led to its development and what it awakens in me as a feeling, the story it tells.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
NB: For me the responsibility of a designer is to ensure a production chain and production techniques that respect the environment and the producers. In this way we help the environment, the producer and the consumer at the same time. A sustainable object is not necessarily an object that is biodegradable or recyclable, on the contrary. I think that many designers take an ecological, buy/discard/recycle approach that doesn't necessarily make sense. The longer an object lasts, the more it respects an ecological and sustainable idea. I like it when an object goes through time, is bequeathed from generation to generation, alters, and becomes a historical relic, a souvenir, an antique, a favourite.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
NB: I believe that design is an interdisciplinary experimental laboratory that leads to innovation and improvement of our environment. I think that with space exploration intensifying in the next few years, our perception of the world will be deeply influenced and enriched. Biomimicry, which is already very present in design, will be revolutionised.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
NB: I haven't done an exhibition yet, but it will be soon ;-)

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
NB: There are many sources of inspiration. Inspiration can really happen at any time, it is not provoked by a specific situation, it is stimulated by everything that surrounds us. For example, long walks in nature with my wife and son are an inexhaustible source of inspiration. My son inspires me a lot. His playfulness, his boundless imagination, the magic that any formal aspect can awaken in him is a very important source of inspiration. A child does not care about the pure function of an object, he will first analyse its appearance, its colour, what it evokes in his eyes without prejudice. Thus a half-eaten piece of bread becomes a crown or a boat. It is this spirit that we try to convey in our work.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
NB: Our design work is not defined by a single project or style, it is the diversity of subjects that forges the identity of the studio and allows us to bring unique and relevant solutions to each project. Our style is clean, minimalist, which allows us to highlight what is important. Style is born through methodology. Even if function is important, so is aesthetics. I like to evoke historical references or instill a narrative value in the design. For me, design is a game of the mind, an interaction between disciplines that gives rise to work with intrinsic functional and aesthetic qualities that respond to a specific demand and need.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
NB: I was born and live in Luxembourg and have Belgian-Luxembourgish nationality. My mother is Italian and my father is Belgian. My wife is Ecuadorian. I speak five languages fluently. If Luxembourg has influenced my design, I think it is the linguistic and cultural aspect that should be mentioned, the influence of several cultures that meet. The negative aspects are undoubtedly the very limited vision and understanding of design by political decision-makers whose administrative system is a real obstacle to the proper development of a creative company like ours. (The pandemic that we have experienced for two years has revealed their position towards the creative professions).

FS: How do you work with companies?
NB: I like to create a relationship of trust, loyalty and conviviality with my clients or partners. I am very demanding of myself and make it a point of honour to satisfy my clients.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
NB: My design process depends of course on what is going to be created. A typography will require a different methodology/process than the interior design of a space or the creation of an object. I think what is common to every discipline is intuition, reflection and research. It is the beginning of any creative act. If I am working for a client, the process will be more precise. 1. Discovering the client, who they are, what they do 2. What makes them unique, what are their qualities 3. The narrative aspect, the key words that characterise them and give value to their project 4. Conceptual research, drawing/sketching, exploring different conceptual avenues in search of relevant solutions in line with his vision and ours. 5) Realisation, materialisation of the concept. 6) Revision to adapt the elements that can be optimised. Throughout the process the client is involved in the creative process, the more involved he is, the better the final result of the project will meet his needs.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
NB: It is through perseverance that you achieve your dreams. Never limit your ambitions. Never give up. Never say never.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
NB: Positive points: The process of creation, from start to finish, is exciting. Negatives: The work never really stops.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
NB: As soon as the pleasure is no longer felt, you must step back. Because sooner or later the design will be negatively influenced.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
NB: Passion, imagination, intuition, a good eye, humility.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
NB: The tool I use most is a black uni-ball eye pen (Mitsubichi pencil) and paper, for writing and drawing. For the models I use all the material necessary for the elaboration of the model, the materials used can vary depending on the project. As for the software, it all depends on the work, we work with : Illustrator, Photoshop, Light Room, After Effects, In Design, Fontlab, Sketch-Up/Layout and Rhino 7. Often four to five programs are used for a single project.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
NB: We structure the creative process chronologically and apply a precise methodology from start to finish.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
NB: It takes between 7 months and 2 years depending of course on the ambition of the project.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
NB: I don't really have a preference, any job can be exciting if you just enjoy doing it.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
NB: To carry out increasingly ambitious projects.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
NB: I work together with my wife.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
NB: We have several works in progress: carpet, armchair, stool, folding screen, lighting, typeface.

FS: How can people contact you?
NB: By phone, by email.


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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