ABDA Awards 2020 | Student Finalist Laura Tournier
Book cover designed by Laura Tournier
This year marks our first year as a sponsor for the Australian Book Designer’s Association Awards and it represents our commitment in supporting and showcasing the work of emerging designers. Our category for 2020 was ‘Best Student Design Award’ and four very talented designers from Shillington were chosen as finalists—Rommey Watts, Laura Tournier, Tara Cosgrave-Perry and Molly Keene. We wanted to take this opportunity to get to know these talented designers a little more and to dive a deeper into the processes behind their cover designs. Let’s say hello to Laura Tournier!
Tell us a little bit about who you are
My name is Laura. I’m a French freelance graphic designer. I moved to Australia in 2012 for a big adventure. I ended up marrying an Aussie and Australia has now become my second home 🙂
How did you get into design?
I was actually quite lost about what to do for a long time (hence the idea of running away as far as possible to broaden my horizons). I did a few different jobs including working at a café at the University of Technology of Sydney. It might sound strange but I feel I really discovered design there! While working there, I got to chat with graphic designers (both students or professional designers) and realised that their job was really creative and that is something I would like to learn! I started collecting Vertigo magazines (the magazine published by the UTS Students’ Association) for visual inspiration and learning the Adobe software doing tutorials on Lynda.com or Skillshare during my spare time. I then decided to enrol in a design course at Shillington a few months later and since then I’ve never looked back!
Personal project: typographic poster for ‘Russian Doll’, Netflix series
What made you start getting into book design?
I mostly started book design during my time at Shillington when we got a brief asking to design a book cover of our choosing and where the main element of the design had to be handmade. I picked 1984 by George Orwell, one of my favourite books. It is a project I really enjoyed and I hope to do more book design in the future. One of my friends is a writer and has asked me to design the book cover for the novel he is currently writing, which is a very exciting project.
What was the inspiration and thought process behind your book cover?
I wanted my design to reflect the dystopian dictatorship of 1984 where the Party has total control over its citizens and wants to reshape human thoughts, history and culture to maintain its power. My main idea was to mould a head by hand. I started gathering visual inspiration from Australian sculptor Tim Silver. I liked the idea that the sculpture should be imperfect or partly broken to represent the destruction of history and humanity. It recalls the remnants of a past civilisation. I also gathered inspiration from the Greek conceptual photographer Andreas Poupoutsisis. I wanted black and white photography with a strong play on light and shadow, the shadow echoing Big Brother’s constant presence. The photography was done by my photographer husband James Barry who also generously lent me his head for the sculpture. The placement of the book title right in the middle of the cover was inspired by one of the book’s quotes: “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever”.
What’s been happening in design for you since you entered?
I actually moved back to France soon after I finished my course at Shillington. I’m now living in Paris doing some freelance graphic design and working on a few personal projects. I also got in touch with a very talented French graphic designer who has accepted to mentor me. We meet regularly to discuss my work and I really enjoy his mentorship. It gives me constructive feedback and good direction so my work keeps on improving.