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Rock, Paper, Scissors by Julien Vallée

A young graphic designer’s first monograph is full of color and motion

by Adrienne So in Culture on 24 October 2011

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A lot of artists might think twice about issuing a retrospective before they reach 30. But the young Canadian graphic designer Julien Vallée— whom we covered earlier this year—already had a considerable body of work from which to choose. Vallée’s art is distinctive for its daring combination of traditional handcrafts and digital manipulation, and his painstaking combinations of cut paper and stop-motion animation are by turns whimsical, dazzling and baffling. People leap through screens and turn into shreds of paper, while smoke, light and glass mingle in seemingly impossible combinations.

"Working on this book was an amazing opportunity to take a look at the work [I've] produced in the last few years. I never really had time to do it before," said Vallée. "There was a lot of behind-the-scenes material, and it was hard to cut it out without losing details behind the process."

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In Rock, Paper, Scissors, Vallée pulled together a selection of his commissioned work for clients as diverse as The New York Times, MTV and AOL, as well as a few of his personal projects. In keeping with Vallé's multimedia approach, the reader can also access exclusive videos—both of the projects and behind-the-scenes work—through Gestalten's website.

The monograph took seven months to compile with the aid of several friends and collaborators. The text was written with Montreal-based artists Eve Duhamel and Mike Canty. "For the design, I started myself but realized soon I was still too close to my work. I found out it was better to have someone that was not involved in the projects, looking at them with fresh eyes," said Vallée, who turned to Montreal-based design studio Feed and a friend, Matthias Hübner, at Gestalten for help.

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"Rock, Paper, Scissors" will be available for purchase in the United States through Gestalten's website by the end of October. For a closer look at Vallée's work, check out his website here.

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