Featured Art Director & Graphic Designer

LAPETITEGROSSE

November 2019

We chat to Jefferson Paganel, Art Director and Graphic Designer at LAPETITEGROSSE (also known as JeffPag), about how he got his first internship working on Nike and Hermès, the importance of a good quality lunch break, and how being bold and fun helps interns stand out.

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

I knew early on what I wanted to do because my mother was an illustrator, so I grew up in the middle of pencils, brushes, colors, shapes… Right after middle school, I studied Applied Arts in high school, then a year of art preparatory at Ateliers de Sèvres, for the opportunity to attend the big secondary art schools. At this time, I was still deciding between pursuing product design or graphic design; finally I entered the EPSAA competition so I went on to graphic design!

Everything started with drawing, then I was trained to think about image and message creation, thanks to a good knowledge of typography, the history of graphic design, photography and digital learning tools. Just before my graduation in June 2010, I read an interview with Leslie David in Clark magazine, and at the end of the interview she said she was looking for an intern. So I tried my luck because I loved her job — she answered my message, we met, and it worked! I was very happy to have my first professional experience at her side, working on projects for Nike, Double Magazine, Andrea Crews, Hermès…

Talk us through a typical working day for you right now.

Every day is similar but not the same! And that's what I like. I've been working at LaPetiteGrosse agency for 8 years, first freelance and then full-time. Every morning I like to come to the office and browse news about graphic design, architecture, design, painting, nature… there are no limits, thanks to RSS feeds managed in TheOldReader. Then I make a few small points on different topics. I like working on very different subjects each day, switching from a visual identity project to packaging design to editorial... The common area is the use of typography and creative thinking. A very important moment for me is lunch; the agency is located in the 10th arrondissement, which is full of good places for food. Going out, walking, looking at lots of visual things allows me to think differently about my projects — it is often in these moments that I find the best ideas! (This year I proposed creating a neighborhood guide 75010, to share our favorite locations.) In the afternoon, these ideas can be realized and discussed with colleagues to push the limits.

What are your three must-read design books/blogs/podcasts and why?

Read it: PackPlay - Paul Rand - Type for Type

Look at: It’s Nice That - The Brand Identity - Visuelle

Listen to: Private Views - Abstract - Secousse

"

Going out, walking, looking at lots of visual things allows me to think differently about my projects

"

How does the local culture of where you live affect your design work and getting clients?

France and especially Paris is a place where creativity is omnipresent. Freedom is also very important. This is particularly noticeable in gastronomy; it inspires me a lot in my work and I love working for clients in the food industry. For example, I created the new identity for Vergers St-Eustache, a company that provides premium fruits and vegetables from France to high-end restaurants in Paris.

What qualities and skills to you look for in a graduate?

A lot of curiosity,

Strong motivation and listening,

Good knowledge of typography,

Dare to use the freshness & youth to go even further,

Bold and fun!

What's on the cards professionally and personally in the next 12 months?

Professionally I hope I will get to work on good projects with inspiring clients; I have a list of "dream projects" so I wish I could check some new boxes in the near future! I'll also continue to work freelance in my spare time as JeffPag on cool projects with friends.

In my personal life, I want to spend quality time with my wife and my little boy, travel as much as possible and discover new horizons.

Website: lapetitegrosse.com

Instagram: @lapetitegrosse

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