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Marine Duroselle for The Saturday Market Project, filmed by Sapphire Goss
27th November 2017

Keeping it Interesting: Q&A with Marine Duroselle

“It is the pattern of life: everything goes through phases. Sometimes my job is very creative and sometimes it's more commercial. As long as it’s interesting, that’s all that matters to me.” 

The work of east London-based graphic designer Marine Duroselle could never be described as boring. Her work straddles multiple mediums and disciplines: one minute she’s creating the logo design for a global collective of driven women, the next she’s crafting rugs using an experimental felting technique. The bold use of colour is a recurring theme in her designs. 

Marine is not short of admirers and counts the V&A, Urban Outfitters and London’s Design Museum among her clients. In summer 2017, she designed the two-dimensional exhibition materials for Clad, a solo exhibition of works by her ceramicist husband Matthew Raw

Following a short hiatus, spent pursuing a very personal project, we caught up with Marine to find out more about her unique approach to design. In the interview that follows; Marine discusses travelling the world as a child, her love of colour, and the importance of exploring new creative territories. 
Booklet designed by Marine Duroselle for Matthew Raw
How would you describe your approach?

I introduce myself as a graphic designer but I sometimes feel more like a cook! I’m always having to use different ingredients – colour, pattern, papers, texture – that I have to mix up to obtain a delicious visual result!

Tell us a little about your childhood, you’ve lived in Lima, Paris and New York… 

We moved around quite a lot due to my Dad’s job, working for a pharmaceutical company. Each time my parents would sit my two older brothers and I down and tell us we were moving. I remember feeling like a whole new world was about to open up, I loved it! I had such an incredible feeling of constant adventure at such a young age. We are very lucky because my parents love to travel, so each country we lived in would be the perfect excuse to go and explore the neighbouring countries during the school holidays. I was in Peru for six years and New York six years, with Paris intertwined.

How do these childhood cultural experiences manifest in your work? 

The main personality trait I inherited is a love for colour. This fascination comes from Peru. There is no fear of colour in Peru and they are amazing at using plenty, and all at the same time. This is true, particularly in the mountains. The women dress in such vibrant colours. 

Booklet designed by Marine Duroselle for Matthew Raw
Colour is a consistent theme in your work. Compared to some of your past projects, the exhibition catalogue for Clad is relatively pared back. Can you explain the rationale behind this? 

There wasn’t really any brief for the catalogue. Matthew wanted to have a consistent identity throughout the build-up of his show and during the exhibition itself. I usually use a lot of colour in my work but here I wanted to try something new. I wanted to let the work speak for itself and let the colour come from the work and the space at the Ragged School Museum, the location for Clad. That is the reason for printing the invitation on a paper that looked like terracotta. The colour of the front cover had a slight tint of blue in order to recall the wall of the gallery. 

Does working on a project with your husband alter your approach? Suddenly there is a more personal investment in the work you’re producing, does that make the task at hand easier or more difficult? 

I’ve worked with him on various projects before but this one was the most interesting one. Because it was a totally new adventure for him, it felt more challenging and exciting for me as a designer to try a deliver as simply and clearly as possible what the message he was trying to convey. I wasn’t making the work so I had space to think about its graphic style.

Translating a three-dimensional exhibition into a two-dimensional catalogue is no mean feat – it must be difficult to capture the experience of seeing it in person. Did you find that aspect of the project challenging?

I had come up with a system for this catalogue because Matthew really wanted to be able to hand out something during the show. But because the work he was producing was a completely new body of work, nothing was really going to be finished beforehand. We had to organise a photoshoot a month before the opening (to make sure we would have enough time to retouch the images, design and have the booklet printed!) so we decided to only show extracts of each piece rather than the finished piece itself. Once in the gallery, you discover how that element works in the overall piece and then I produced another mini booklet with the final pieces in, to complete the journey.

Booklet designed by Marine Duroselle for Matthew Raw
Your catalogue of work is notably diverse. Do you have a favourite type of project or medium? 

I like to go from one type of project to another: from exhibition design to website design, from to print to rug making. It keeps me on my toes, but I’ve not always been that confident in saying that. When I was a student I found the need to go from one medium to another very difficult to understand. It made me feel like I was always in search of something else. When I was working in print I wanted to do 3D work etc. That might be the reason why I studied for nine years (I know!). But today I realise that working across mediums might be my strength. I love the challenge of exploring different territories and adapting to various clients needs – I guess a bit like my upbringing I am always on the move and need to be able to integrate to be happy.

What would be your dream brief? 

I’ve got loads of dream briefs. Let’s see...one could be working on the general identity for a paper or textile merchant. 

You increasingly hear of creatives who struggle to balance commercial projects with personal, more creative work? How you make sure your work remains creative while financially relying on commercial projects? 

I don’t really worry about that. It is the pattern of life: everything goes through phases. Sometimes my job is very creative and sometimes it's more commercial. As long as it’s interesting, that’s all that matters to me.” 
Adam Blencowe x Marine Duroselle: Motley Rug Collection
Want to read more about Marine Duroselle? Check out Zetteler’s features on Marine Duroselle's favourite colour and why?
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