(Chinese follows at the bottom)
Michael Sallit is a Frenchman from Dijon (famous for its mustard, he points out) who is currently making a living in Paris. Drawing inspiration from his background as a music fan, Michael aims to create graphic design that is enjoyable for everyone – just like the vinyl sleeves he grew up with. “Graphic design for graphic designers” is not this self-taught artist’s style – in fact, he doesn’t even like to refer to himself as an artist!
Graduating from high school, Michael had no idea what his profession would be. During his masters – Cultural Affairs – he managed a festival with his classmates and got a chance to produce concert posters. Finally, all the obscure 70’s album art, computer tinkering and other different cultural and graphical expressions he’d been exposed to could be put into a creative process. Graphic design was to be his calling.
“It’s not an easy thing to do every day. I’m scared of the blank sheet of paper because I have to attain something presentable, something that’s pleasant to see and also comprehensible. I must constantly be creative and try to find new ideas while remaining to a global aesthetic,” he says.
“The most important thing is to create a unity between visuals, typography, and the response to the commission,” he added. “I am interested in the capacity of spaces to act as vessels for storytelling and collective imagination – I think it is stories in spaces, not the spaces themselves, that shape human experience.”
Although he tries to avoid projects that do not inspire him, Michael is not afraid of trying things that are outside his personal interests. “It is very motivating since it takes me out of my comfort zone, but I must admit that I try to avoid projects with too many constraints from the sponsors. Like ‘change type,’ ‘make it bigger…’”
Michael’s dream project comes from his musician alter ego: to design a graphic identity for a label including all the record sleeves to create a coherent set.
When asked what his next target is, Michael says he’s inspired by the pure essence of graphic design and the way the visual information can evoke an emotion, promote a dialogue and have an impact on those that interact with it. “So the next target will be to go further in this respect, but the most important thing for me is to be humble in my work. I have no artistic pretensions; I just want my work to please the greatest number!”
Lyon Street Food Festival
Hosting a street food festival is hardly a new concept these days. However, two things stood out to inspire Michael for this A-Z commission (from plastic cups to metro ads). Firstly, the organisers emphasised that they definitely did not want the standard “photos of smiling chefs and fresh vegetables” imagery. Graphical illustration of the dishes itself, instead, was suggested. Secondly, the theme of the festival was the more exotic “Hong Kong” – or French Michelin chef’s version of Hong Kong, at least!
Michael responded by illustrating a number of typical Asian dishes as well as symbols – noodles and dumplings, Maneki-neko and dragon masks, and so on. The visual language boldly brandishes clear signal colours – vivid red and flourescent yellow – and the typography pops with strong contrasts and neon tube letters for the headlines.
As this was the first-ever edition of this festival, there was nothing to look back to – a very blank sheet in fact. The eye-catching and unconventional design seems to have paid off, with more than 12,000 visitors coming to eat, listen to music and experience Asian cultural offerings.
居住於法國巴黎的本土設計師Michael Sallit來自第戎（Dijon，Michael特意指出該地著名出產芥末醬）。作為一個狂熱音樂粉絲，他的平面設計創作主力為觀眾帶來享受 – 就像與他一起成長的黑膠唱片一樣。「平面設計只供平面設計師觀看」的古老定律並不適用於這位藝術家；他甚至不喜歡稱自己為藝術家！
Michael說：「最重要的目的是在影像、字型和創作目標上取得融和。我對於以空間的各種可能來說故事和發揮集體想像非常感興趣 – 我認為是在空間裡的故事讓人獲得體驗，而不是空間本身。」
Michael由此開始畫了各種各樣典型的亞洲美食和亞洲飲食的象徵：麵條、餃子、招財貓、龍頭等等。令人眼花繚亂的插畫加上燦爛的顏色 – 大紅和熒光黃配合像是霓虹光管的大型字體，Michael成功的營造出搶眼奪目的視覺效果。