Featured Studio

bizarre bizarre

July 2018

We chat with bizarre bizarre Art Director Maxime Francout about his transition from illustration to design over the last 15 years, what he looks for in a great portfolio, and buying books just for the typography.

Where did you study and what were some of your first jobs?

I studied graphic design at l’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). I had the chance during these three years to work as assistant professor. I created bizarre bizarre during the same period, trying to connect studio productions with my researches in design. This allowed me to build a well-filled portfolio and gain some visibility. After graduating, I continued to develop the studio's activities by collaborating with several studios and agencies in Montréal and internationally.

When did you fall in love with design and how did you get started?

I started my career 15 years ago as an illustrator. Over the years, my style has evolved into something more simple and effective, closer to design than fine arts. I realized then that my true passion was more design than illustration. Since then, I am able to buy books without ever reading them, just for typography. Illustration still holds an important place in my heart and I try to put in my projects as much as possible.

Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.

I run bizarre bizarre, a creative studio that offers different types of services like Artistic Direction, Motion Design, Visual Identity etc. The studio mixes both design and art practices to cross borders and propose a playful and experimental approach. Through this special approach, we try to surprise ourselves and bring to the customer, a vision that no other studio would be able to bring him.

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Sometimes, I see portfolios trying to emulate (or copy) our style. It's flattering in a certain way but it's not very interesting. I'm looking for something that is able to pique my curiosity, to destabilize me.

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What do you look for in a great portfolio?

I am looking for personality, curiosity and daring. Sometimes, I see portfolios trying to emulate (or copy) our style. It's flattering in a certain way but it's not very interesting. I'm looking for something that is able to pique my curiosity, to destabilize me. I want to work with people who are able to bring me in new fields on which we will be able to experiment.

What role does digital design play in your studio in 2018, and how to you apply traditional graphic design skills in a digital age?

Digital is the area where we put the most effort to develop our projects in 2018. Digital allows us to provide innovative solutions that take into account the current realities of communication. Some try to put these new modes of communication in opposition to more traditional ones, we think on our side that they remain complementary.

2018 for you in a sentence.

We will continue to work hard, full of cool projects are coming.

Website: bizarrebizarre.ca

Instagram: @maximefrancout

Behance : @maximefrancout

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