Une Saison Graphique, a contemporary graphic design festival

Neon Moiré sets out to interview festival organizers and tries to find out what motivates them to organize their events and what they are most excited about. We talked to Mariina Bakic, of Une Saison Graphique, a yearly festival about contemporary graphic design in the city of Le Havre, France. This year the festival takes place form May 17 till July 2.
Left poster by Agnès Dahan. right poster by Formes vives + Bonefritte
Left poster by Agnès Dahan. right poster by Formes vives + Bonefritte

Why are you organising Une Saison Graphique?

Une Saison Graphique started with a true amateur spirit, impulsed by people with mostly a personal interest for graphic design. At the time, graphic design lacked exposure in northern France, and Le Havre and its graphic architecture felt like the most appropriate space for it. A certain lobby spirit has always been present, motivated by love of design and designers. We want to influence public taste and make people aware of what we think great graphic design is, as actors taking part in the production of graphic design.

What is the biggest challenge for Une Saison Graphique?

Our financial struggle for existence has become an everyday business, so our main challenge is to keep the event alive. But above all, the primary goal is to keep up with the dynamic of the event, to reinvent it, and to be able to react with the changes of this media.

What do you want your audience to take home after a Une Saison Graphique visit?

We hope we participate in the visual education of our audience, in reinforcement of active reading of the visual landscape. We believe that exhibiting good design can influence the public's demand and increase the recognition of graphic design in France.

On a professional level we want to act for the community of designers and offer this community a platform of diffusion and of rich productions. Exhibiting graphic design is quite a special thing, sometimes even controversial, but we see that it enables the designers to experiment and reflect on their work. That applies not only to the exhibited designers but to the professional audience as well.

left poster by Norm. Right poster by Super script 2
Left: poster by Norm. Right: poster by Super script 2
poster by Olivier Douzou. Right poster by Julien-Gobied.
Left: poster by Olivier Douzou. Right poster by: Julien-Gobied

What are you most proud of or excited about if you look at the USG16 program?

We are most proud of the trust that designers have given us. We could never have got to the artistic level we so quickly reached, without the support of the designers!

What other festival or event / happening inspires you and would you recommend to your peers?

In France, there are many passionate productions and shows right now, and we hope that more structures of diffusion (galleries, art centers, museums) will integrate graphic design in their regular exhibition programs. We observe what is happening in Chaumont with a lot of interest. On the one hand it is exciting that the International Center for graphic design opens this year. But on the other hand we are very concerned about the cancellation of this years International Poster Festival.

Planning to go to Une Saison Graphique?

During the opening weekend Neon Moiré will be there to see and learn about contemporary graphic design. Want to meet? Our editor Simone Dresens will be part of Kermesse Graphique on Saturday May 21st with her Picto Machine. Go say hi!

Picto Machine

Une Saison Graphique

17 May - 2 July
Le Havre, France

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