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Rock, Paper, Scissors: The Work of Julien Vallee

We first heard of Julien Vallee when a string of quirky lo-fi graphic design books emerged around five years ago, one of which was Tangible, where Julien produced the cover. Embracing the pleasure of the physical, Montreal based motion graphic designer, Julien Vallee was one of the first of his kind producing dioramas, sculptures and other physical environments.

With an impressive list of clients including MTV, YCN, The New York Times, Cully Jazz Festival, Artv, Computer Arts Projects magazine His visuals merge computer and handmade processes in unexpected ways which have been used in art direction, motion graphics, print design, and art installation as well as video and design for the television industry.

Rock, Paper, Scissors: The Work of Julien Valleeis the first book dedicated to the young Canadian presenting Julien's commissioned work and personal projects. Published by Gestalten, who also did the series of aforementioned physical graphics books, the monograph is split into 6 chapters named by colour, the book opens with heart warming intro written by the visionary himself:

"The word for work
is play.

This book tells time. Or times. The time I had an office between a pile of dirty dishes and a washing machines. The time I calculated so many frames that it was the only thing I could dream about at night. The time I met Eve for the first time, her awkward smile as she sat on her bike outside Salon Officiel. The time we realised we could fold paper into whatever we wanted it to be. The time I first met Simon and he offered to shoot MTV One in the studio he shared with a dance school. The time we spend seven nights and days with eating or sleeping, like people in a survival situation. The time the wind blew so loud and strong through the studio it felt like all the windows would shatter. The time we lost the couch at the end of a party and found it days later, five floors below. The time we had vodka, a "Play" button and a black light. The time we spent building a pink rock before our Berlin opening, The time I took hours to make an image that lasted only a split second. All the times I forgot not to wear my green T-shit for a shoot. The time I spent hours reading a blank book. The time what was still started moving. The time coffee was spilled on my computer only one day before the deadline. The time we climbed up to a downtown Montreal rooftop and shot all night and drank too much coffee. The time Jean-Constant decided to take the plane and try Montreal. The time Matilde came on a shoot with a fish. The time we played ping-pong in a corn field. The time we threw thousands of objects in the air and nothing happened. The time I tried to stop drinking coffee, failed. The time I became nothing but dust. The time we caged helium balloons in a hockey net. The time a wool hat and a ridiculously small piece of plastic were the only things protecting me from a BB bullet.

This book is also about all the times that make it worthwhile for us. The times we spend with friends and family, doing crazy things with no apparent meaning, and finding out that people relate to the same apparently meaningless things as we do. It's about refusing to grow up and get a real job and start taking life more seriously.


Seeing as Julien produces a lot of amazing motion animation, it would be silly not to include it. Which leads you onto The Orange Chapter, documenting a sequence of high quality screen shots of his audiovisual work. For those who don't follow Julien's Vimeo channel, you can watch some of these animations as well as artfully made 'Making of' videos. Always keen to show his peers and fans the level of production that goes into his projects, Julien has translated this brilliantly into Rock, Paper, Scissors. Shots from the finished product are nicely interspersed with 'making of' photos, a nice reminder of just how hands on Julien is and that much of his vision is down to a lot of trial and error. But of course, words and (2D) pictures don't begin to describe the amazingness of Julien's videos so as a bonus, the book includes a unique log-in code to enter online, where you can watch Julien's videos. Or if you're like us, who never get tired of them, you can also download them (for free) and watch them till your heart's content.

If you've not bought this book (and yes we urge you to asap!), here's a little taster of Julien Vallee's moving imagery:

MTV-Hits / Making of from Julien Vallee on Vimeo.

OFFF Paris 2010 Sponsors titles from Julien Vallee on Vimeo.

DanseDance from Julien Vallee on Vimeo.

Rock, Paper, Scissors: The Work of Julien Vallee is available now from Gestalten's online shop or for those in the UK, you can also purchase at London's Design Museum.

Louisa Lau
16:27 - 24/02/12