BLAQ, the gracious retro graphic designer

6 MN

BLAQ, the gracious retro graphic designer

Originally from Le Havre, BLAQ has been working as a freelance graphic designer in Nantes for a little over a year now. A big fan of music and the 30s, he manages to mix the two worlds through his harmonious and reasoned creations. After having failed at school for a long time, the discovery of graphic design opened doors to a world where he could fully blossom, a world where his innumerable ideas and projects could finally flourish.

blaq logoHi BLAQ! We know you had quite an atypical education. Can you tell us a bit more about that?

Initially, I was set on doing an STI baccalaureate (Sustainable Development and Industry Sciences and Technology). Seeing as I really didn’t want to do that, I was constantly performing badly at school. I eventually chose to do an STG baccalaureate (Management Sciences and Technologies) with a marketing option, but I didn’t enjoy that either. So I failed my baccalaureate. I ended up training as a bilingual import-export assistant because I had a very good level of English. I spent my days on Facebook and MySpace so I messed that up, too. At that time, my cousins set up an events organisation where they arranged breakdance battles, so I took advantage of that and managed to wheedle my way in. As we needed a logo, we went to see a graphic designer in Le Havre. I noticed he worked with Illustrator, so I downloaded the software that night, and I ended up designing the logo. I then got into designing the posters, flyers, etc. It all began like that.

I guess orders started coming in quite quickly after that.

Yes, I continued, and more and more people were asking me to do things for them. I began working for The Chemistry Magazine where I had a graphic design column about what and who needed to be kept an eye on in that field. I wrote a few articles for Open Minded after that, and then did a graphic design and layout course. I was quite bored there, again; I would spend my days playing Star Wars LEGO whilst the others worked. At the end of the day, I had the best portfolio. I’ve been self-employed for a year and half now. Things are beginning to work out.

We know that you’re inspired by first-half 20th century ambiance. What do those years represent for you?

I think a lot more work was put into typography at that time, because everything was done by hand. There was a true savoir-faire and dexterity. And I especially love the whole ambiance surrounding the haberdashery and grocery stores’ small signs. Being a huge Al Capone fan, 1930s Chicago is kind of my thing.

sedecimo cover

I see you have some tattoos. Did you design them yourself?

I only drew one of them, a little tooth. Otherwise, they’ve all been my ideas but not my drawings. Tattooing is my end of career plan. I’m giving myself time to gain experience and style.

You work a lot on typography. What do letter forms mean to you?

I’m not so good at drawing, and I always found that there was a much simpler approach with typography. It’s also that idea of perfection; you can’t do any old thing with letters.

You made a typo’ with turmeric for OLOW last year. It really is quite unusual. Where did you find such an idea?

OLOW organised a competition whereby you had to write “OLOW” with whatever you wanted in order to win a t-shirt. I created mine with salt and Valentin contacted me saying he really liked my idea. When I went to get my t-shirt, we liked the idea of doing another one with flour, but it looked a little bit too much like cocaine, so we looked for something a little more colourful. Turmeric worked out best.

typo curcuma turtle olow

This flavoured project inspired the TURTLE t-shirt’s logo from our Fall/Winter “Baie des Fumées” collection. The little turtle guided the project from A to Z; it’s on our photos and it was even the main actor for our friend Julien Léger’s video. Can you tell us what it represents?

It’s quite random actually. When we went to shoot the video, the person who lent us his house warned us that there was a small turtle there. We thought we should put it in the video and it became the star of the whole thing. We spent hours looking for it. I really liked the idea of it destroying the logo at the end to show that everything is just ephemeral.

Which spice would describe your personality best?

Cumin. I use it in everything: pasta, rice, beans. It’s mild, but you can tell it’s there. It asserts itself.

You’ve done quite a few projects relating to music, whether it be for parties, festivals, radios or even musicians. What do you like most about that world?

Seeing as I used to organise parties for my cousins’ organisation, I had to manage everything to do with communications and contacts. I became friends with most people and that’s how it happened. Most of my clients are DJs or organise parties. My style sticks mostly to everything to do with techno or house music because that style gives you a free hand. But I listen to everything: French rap, Japanese metal, reggae… Except zouk, and anything that plays on the radio.

blaq coversCan you tell us about a collaboration in that field that particularly left its mark on you?

I did one of my mates, Daze’s logo, and we thought it would be awesome if we made it in 3D. I had the balls to contact a guy for whom I had written an article when I worked at The Chemistry Magazines, and I suggested we collaborate for Daze’s cover. I also did a thing for a guy from around here who was organising a party with another collective. They wanted their own t-shirt because the other collective was bringing their visuals. It was kind of a graphic battle.

If you had to collaborate with the artist of your dreams, who would it be?

Salvador Dali, even if I don’t know how to paint. Or Tupac. As for the living, it would have to be Lapti.

The more we see your visuals, the more we realise the importance of colour harmony. How do you go about associating them?

I was taught to never associate more than three colours together for a logo. I don’t really like mixing 50 colours together. I like black. That’s why I’m called BLAQ, for that matter. I initially wanted to be called “Black Flag” with “v”s replacing the “a”s, but it was too complicated. “Black” on its own was too neutral so I chose “BLAQ”. Stafardine was also an idea.

Have you ever thought of exhibiting your creations?

As a matter of fact, yes. I’ve been offered to do an exhibition in Angers next year, I’m not too sure about the dates yet, but it’ll be really big. I also want to put together a collective of rappers, producers, DJs, photographers, graphic designers… It would be a big structure where we would all help each other out; if one of us put out an EP, we would all help him with shoots, videos, production, etc… I’ve already begun contacting people in Nantes. I’ve only just started writing rap lyrics, then I’m going to learn how to mix, like that we’ll be able to organise parties in Nantes. I’d then be a full-time artist and know how to do everything. All we have left to do is begin construction now! We just have to build everything now!

Processed with VSCO with s2 preset

 Many thanks to BLAQ for his answers.

You can find his work on his website. His “Olow” typography is currently on our TURTLE tee available in our retailers and our e-shop.

turtle-noir-chineturtle-bleu-chineMarion

Interview réalisée par Valentin Porcher
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The Customer also receives by email and without delay, a receipt of the order sent electronically, regarding as a confirmation of the order (“Order Confirmation”).

The Customer receives electronically, the confirmation that the Goods have been dispatched.

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However, under section L.122-1 of the French Consumer Code, the Vendor reserves the right to cancel your Order if the Order is abnormal, involves bad faith or for any other reason that is under the sole discretion of the Vendor. The Vendor also reserves the right to reject orders from any customer with whom the Vendor have an ongoing legal dispute regarding a prior order.

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Delivery Terms are expressed in working days and correspond to an average time for preparing and shipping the Order to the Customer.

Delivery Terms shall begin to run at the Order Confirmation date.

Delays

In the event of delays in the Delivery, the Order is not cancelled. The Vendor shall inform the Customer by electronic mail that the delivery will take place later than what was contemplated by the Parties. You will be then entitled to decide whether to confirm or cancel your order and shall send to the Vendor a cancellation notice of the Order at service-client@olow.fr.

If the Order has not been shipped yet at the time the Vendor receives the cancellation notice, the Delivery is effectively cancelled and the Customer is reimbursed of the payment he/she made, within fifteen (15) days from the receipt of the cancellation notice.

If the Order has been shipped at the time the Vendor receives cancellation notice, the Customer is still entitled to cancel the order by refusing the Delivery. The Vendor shall then reimburse the Customer of the payment he/she made, within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the returned products in the same condition as they were sent and must have their original label. The return expenses remain at the cost of the Customer.

Tracking

The Customer can follow the track progress of his/her Order on his/her account on the Website. Regarding the delivery progress, the Customer shall contact the Company to obtain a tracker number, to follow the progress.

Prix et délais de livraison précis

Shipping cost

> 1 kg1 > 2 kg2 > 4kg
5.56.57

Delivery time

3-5 working days

Allemagne, Autriche, Belgique, Bulgarie, Chypre, Danemark, Espagne, Finlande, Grèce, Hongrie, Italie, Malte, Pays-Bas, Pologne, Portugal, République Tchèque, Suède, Ukraine

Shipping cost

> 2 kg2 > 4kg
9.511.5

Delivery time

4-7 working days

Andorre, Biélorussie, Croatie, Islande, Monaco, Norvège, Royaume-Uni, Russie, Suisse, Turquie

Shipping cost

> 2 kg2 > 4kg
9.511.5

Delivery time

5-8 working days

Bahamas, Canada, États-Unis, Mexique

Shipping cost

> 1.5 kg1.5 > 4kg
1519.5

Delivery time

5-9 working days

Argentine, Brésil, Chili

Shipping cost

€27

Delivery time

6-9 working days

Arabie Saoudite, Bahreïn, Chine, Corée du Sud, Émirats Arabes Unis, Hong-Kong, Indonésie, Israël, Japon, Malaisie, Qatar, Singapour, Taiwan

Shipping cost

€24

Delivery time

4-7 working days

Australie, Nouvelle-Zélande

Shipping cost

€27

Delivery time

6-10 working days

Returns

You have received your order but the product does not suit you?

You can return your products within 15 days of receiving your package, for any order.

The items must not have been worn, washed or damaged and must be returned in their original packaging, in perfect condition for resale.

How do I return my package from France?

To return your parcel, it is very simple :

  1. Go to “My account”, in the “My purchases” section,

  2. In the list of your orders, select your order,

  3. If your order is eligible for return, please tick each product you wish to return. If a product has been ordered in several copies, you can indicate the quantity to be returned.

  4. Indicate the reason for the return at the bottom of the order details and click on “Request a return”. You can track your return request in the “Returns” section of the “My purchases” section.

  5. Once your return request has been validated by our team, simply download the return form and place it in your package.

  6. Send your package to the address indicated on the return form.

Want to make a return request with a guest account?

It's very easy : contact us by email at service-client@olow.fr indicating your order number, the items you wish to return and whether you wish to request a refund, a credit note or an exchange.

The return costs are at the customer's expense (cost of shipping by the transporter chosen by the customer and any other related costs: customs duties, taxes, etc.).

How long does it take to get my money back once my package has been sent?

Refunds will be made within 10 days of receipt of your items and automatically to the account associated with the credit card used for payment or to the Paypal account used for payment.

Is it possible to return my item in the shop?

No, for all internet orders, returns can only be made to the address mentioned above.

What can I do if my item has a defect?

We take great care in the manufacture and finishing of our products. However, if you wish to report a manufacturing defect on a product, we invite you to contact our customer service by e-mail: service-client@olow.fr.

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How to order?

Please follow the following instructions in order to submit an Order:

  1. Visit the Website;

  2. Follow the instructions on the Website to place your orders and especially the instructions given to create a Customer account;

  3. Fulfil the Ordering form. After extended inactivity you may encounter an automatic cancellation of the Goods you submitted. You shall start a new Order of any Good and Service you wished to order;

  4. You shall check the Goods and Services you Order, and if necessary, please identify and correct the error;

  5. Confirm the Order, the Total Price as well as the All-Inclusive Price (the “Order Confirmation”);

  6. Follow the payment Website instructions in order to pay the All-Inclusive Price.

After you have submitted an order, the Customer receives by email and without delay a confirmation of his approval of the Order.

The Customer also receives by email and without delay, a receipt of the order sent electronically, regarding as a confirmation of the order (“Order Confirmation”).

The Customer receives electronically, the confirmation that the Goods have been dispatched.

The delivery shall take place at the location indicated by the Customer at the time of the Order.

Additionally, by undertaking these different steps to Order, the Customer accepts to strictly comply with this Agreement, in accordance with section 1316-1 of the French Civil Code.

The Vendor undertakes to deliver the Goods and Services subject of the Order Confirmation. In the event that a Good ordered is unavailable, the Vendor will promptly inform the Customer about this.

However, under section L.122-1 of the French Consumer Code, the Vendor reserves the right to cancel your Order if the Order is abnormal, involves bad faith or for any other reason that is under the sole discretion of the Vendor. The Vendor also reserves the right to reject orders from any customer with whom the Vendor have an ongoing legal dispute regarding a prior order.

Place of Delivery

The place of Delivery shall be determined by the Customer within the Territory, under sanction to refuse the Order.

The Customer is exclusively responsible for any error in the Delivery due to a lack of indication contained in the Order.

Amount of Delivery Charges

The amount of Delivery Charges depends upon the amount of the Order and upon the Method of Delivery the Customer chooses. In any case, the amount of Delivery Charges shall be indicated to you before the Order Confirmation.

The Delivery Charges are free if the amount exceeds EUR 200,00.

Delivery Term

Delivery Terms are available for review on the Website. They may change depending on the availability of the Goods subject of the Order.

Delivery Terms are expressed in working days and correspond to an average time for preparing and shipping the Order to the Customer.

Delivery Terms shall begin to run at the Order Confirmation date.

Delays

In the event of delays in the Delivery, the Order is not cancelled. The Vendor shall inform the Customer by electronic mail that the delivery will take place later than what was contemplated by the Parties. You will be then entitled to decide whether to confirm or cancel your order and shall send to the Vendor a cancellation notice of the Order at service-client@olow.fr.

If the Order has not been shipped yet at the time the Vendor receives the cancellation notice, the Delivery is effectively cancelled and the Customer is reimbursed of the payment he/she made, within fifteen (15) days from the receipt of the cancellation notice.

If the Order has been shipped at the time the Vendor receives cancellation notice, the Customer is still entitled to cancel the order by refusing the Delivery. The Vendor shall then reimburse the Customer of the payment he/she made, within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the returned products in the same condition as they were sent and must have their original label. The return expenses remain at the cost of the Customer.

Tracking

The Customer can follow the track progress of his/her Order on his/her account on the Website. Regarding the delivery progress, the Customer shall contact the Company to obtain a tracker number, to follow the progress.

Prix et délais de livraison précis

Shipping cost

> 1 kg1 > 2 kg2 > 4kg
5.56.57

Delivery time

3-5 working days

Allemagne, Autriche, Belgique, Bulgarie, Chypre, Danemark, Espagne, Finlande, Grèce, Hongrie, Italie, Malte, Pays-Bas, Pologne, Portugal, République Tchèque, Suède, Ukraine

Shipping cost

> 2 kg2 > 4kg
9.511.5

Delivery time

4-7 working days

Andorre, Biélorussie, Croatie, Islande, Monaco, Norvège, Royaume-Uni, Russie, Suisse, Turquie

Shipping cost

> 2 kg2 > 4kg
9.511.5

Delivery time

5-8 working days

Bahamas, Canada, États-Unis, Mexique

Shipping cost

> 1.5 kg1.5 > 4kg
1519.5

Delivery time

5-9 working days

Argentine, Brésil, Chili

Shipping cost

€27

Delivery time

6-9 working days

Arabie Saoudite, Bahreïn, Chine, Corée du Sud, Émirats Arabes Unis, Hong-Kong, Indonésie, Israël, Japon, Malaisie, Qatar, Singapour, Taiwan

Shipping cost

€24

Delivery time

4-7 working days

Australie, Nouvelle-Zélande

Shipping cost

€27

Delivery time

6-10 working days

Returns

You have received your order but the product does not suit you?

You can return your products within 15 days of receiving your package, for any order.

The items must not have been worn, washed or damaged and must be returned in their original packaging, in perfect condition for resale.

How do I return my package from France?

To return your parcel, it is very simple :

  1. Go to “My account”, in the “My purchases” section,

  2. In the list of your orders, select your order,

  3. If your order is eligible for return, please tick each product you wish to return. If a product has been ordered in several copies, you can indicate the quantity to be returned.

  4. Indicate the reason for the return at the bottom of the order details and click on “Request a return”. You can track your return request in the “Returns” section of the “My purchases” section.

  5. Once your return request has been validated by our team, simply download the return form and place it in your package.

  6. Send your package to the address indicated on the return form.

Want to make a return request with a guest account?

It's very easy : contact us by email at service-client@olow.fr indicating your order number, the items you wish to return and whether you wish to request a refund, a credit note or an exchange.

The return costs are at the customer's expense (cost of shipping by the transporter chosen by the customer and any other related costs: customs duties, taxes, etc.).

How long does it take to get my money back once my package has been sent?

Refunds will be made within 10 days of receipt of your items and automatically to the account associated with the credit card used for payment or to the Paypal account used for payment.

Is it possible to return my item in the shop?

No, for all internet orders, returns can only be made to the address mentioned above.

What can I do if my item has a defect?

We take great care in the manufacture and finishing of our products. However, if you wish to report a manufacturing defect on a product, we invite you to contact our customer service by e-mail: service-client@olow.fr.

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