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You say that you are self-taught, how did you become a gra
phic artist? It happened gradually... In 1980 I sat the
entrance exam to the School of Applied Arts, passed and stayed
there three months. I quickly realised that the teaching there could
not replace experience in the field. I have never stopped my training.
When I was thirteen I collected stamps.When I was sixteen I was
a comic fanatic. As a press illustrator, I only accept individual
orders like the one for the comic magazine Metal Hurlant.
Is this out of nostalgia for the underground press I belong to
the next generation, the «one franc a photocopy* generation. I
was more marked by Elles sont de sortie(a group including
Pascal Doury, Bruno Richard and Marc Caro) than by the
Bazooka group which designed the first image supplement of the
French daily Liberation in the seventies. My first decisive
encounters were with Roman Cieslewicz and later with members
of the Grapus group and the creators who were going around in
1984.1 also frequented the Graphzines, Placid and Muzo, Au
Sec et Toi et moi pour toujours. I did not completly iden
tify myself with these images of death, with blatant subversion.
By dint of accumulating a series of aborted projects I wanted to
produce a lasting objectQui Resiste. At last, with this review
we could question everything the text, the image, the circulation.
Would you say you are more a descendant of Dada? Dada remains an important reference for
me. But so do the constructivists, especially Rodtchenko.There is also classical and contemporary lite
rature that I approached late. I immediately incorporated Perec and Balzac into Qui Resiste.
What led you into typography? My thinking does not preceed the experience of paper and letter
sets. I also have adopted a pragmatic approach.With the second issue of Qui Resiste I learnt half
tone screening technicswith the third issue I learnt stamp cutting with the fourth I learnt how to
do colour separation technics and how to work with volume. In the fifth issue I learnt page-setting. In
the sixth issue I learnt how to use a Macintosh.
Has the Macintosh computer caused a certain uniformity in graphic design?
My work entails two distinct activitiesgraphic design and invention. But with the
Macintosh you can return to the beginnings of printing where you can be both a
book seller and a printeryou can master the entire chain of knowledge and know-
how.The Macintosh computer is a tool that requires strict discipline since the gra
phic designer is his own photo typesetter, his own repro bureau. A study course in
graphic design should last ten years.
What do you think about the way this profession is taught? I resigned from the
two colleges where I was teaching as I found the educational approach there unsui
table. Since educational techniques are evolving very quickly we should work on
content (rather than on form) I'm not being coquettish but I believe in continuing
education. Graphic design and art are as linked together as journalism and literature.
Knowledge of the history of art, maturity are more important than drawing.
We are living in the age of the screen.Even so, I'm fascinated by the book as
an object*. But now, whenever I meet a client to discuss an order I hide my research
as an inventor. Sometimes there's a link between research and the order. For
example, I'm now adapting the ancient written language of theTouaregs, Tifinar',
to electronic composition with the aim of publishing the first newspaper for the
Pierre di Sciullo An artist A typographer A letter designer Pierre di Sciullo
(age34) defines himself as a graphic artist. To probe the text/image relationship
and the problems of code and narrative, since 1983 Pierre di Sciullo has been edi
ting, as author, the review Qui Resiste, a nursery of textual experimentation
and stagingWorking on a Ministry of Culture grant, he creates many character
founts on computerin particular Quantange, an orthographic-phonetic-plastic
character applied to French and the series of Minimum edited by Fontshop Inter
national. He regularly contributes as artistic director in the corporate communica
tion sector and for the press. Since 1987 he has designed numerous institutional
publications and identity visuals.