Sunday, May 30, 2010

On a du pain sur la planche*

I am currently a marketing intern for Academie des Arts de Vivre a luxury tourism company and my project is to revamp the website,  as well as  re-design the brochure to complement the website.  Mme de Willermin and I spent numerous hours going over inspirations, such as Chanel, Hermes, Martin Randall Travel brochures, and I cannot wait to dive into the project the next 7 weeks and see what we accomplish.

But for now, here are some wonderful examples of amazing design from the Martin Randall Travel brochure:

The content and design of this brochure perfectly target's Mr. Randell's clientele, those who want the full extent of cultural knowledge infused in their travels. They crave knowledge and we see that knowledge embedded in the brochure's design.

The cover resembles a vintage scholarly journal or a book. I was especially drawn to the border design which infuses a mediterranean color palette with a vintage wash. The brochure itself is an artwork as well as a travel guide!

The brochure relies on artwork to describe its various destination which keeps to the theme of scholarly expeditions

Check out the vintage map used to outline the tour route- does that not call to your inner-explorer?

And the typography! 

It was very refreshing to see the vintage design of the brochure which perfectly complements the historical and cultural tours of the company. It also shows that modern design, although eye-catching, is not the only plateau for design! I hope to keep Mr. Randall as an inspiration while working with AAV and the new website.

* The translation= we have a lot of bread on the board.  Mme de Willermin used this french expression to express the numerous projects we have lined up for the next two months and I thought it would be fitting for my first internship post. 

Friday, May 28, 2010

Waiting on a Rainy Day

Yesterday I was caught by surprise when the sunny Paris weather suddenly took a drastic turn and it started to rain and I was sans parapluie. I had a follow-up interview for my internship (just some paper work) and then lunch with Amy.

While taking refuge from the rain I came across this very nice courtyard opening. They are quite frequent in Paris. They are always unexpected, almost like a secret hideaway and it is always a pleasure to come across one like a surprise.  Combined with the slight drizzle and my love for surprises, I couldn't stop taking pictures. I loved the lighting, very Jane Austen. However, my samsung (although I love you) could not capture the exact lighting.

Rainy days always make me reflect... to me they are just days when you sit at home, wrapped in a wool knit and think about good times, think about what you want to do, what you will do and just gather your thoughts. So as I was waiting for Amy i started reflecting on my week in Paris. First of all, I cannot believe I have already been here a week! I feel that a part of me is still stuck in Rwanda with the children and my friends. I also feel the cultural shock. Suddenly I am in this environment where I have to learn the language and also the subtle cultural nuances, which is almost like a silent understanding amongst the parisians. I think it will take me a while to just jump into the french culture and make friends, but this makes me think was I a very naive american to think that I will be able to understand french culture in a short 8 week stay, or is it a culture that takes years to master?

Sunday, May 23, 2010


I flew into Charles de Gaulle airport from Rwanda after spending 12 days teaching kids in Nonko how to use OLPC Laptops. The journey was very tiring and once I managed to reach the door steps of my 18th century apartment I crashed.

My Host:
Name: Mme LaFon

She is incredibly sweet and helpful! I adore her. She helped me take my 50pound suitcase up 4 flights of stairs! She is also very patient with my horrible french and terrible American accent. But I am learning fast and by the end of the day I was saying "Tout a l'heure" which is a very french way of saying "see you soon". Her apartment is very charming, decorated by morroccan accents (influenced by her ex-husband) and african tribal arts. I bought her a little Rwandan mask and a bowl which fit perfectly into the decor. My room itself looks like a print ad page from Ikea. I love it! A good way to describe it would be: if Carrie Bradshaw had taken her manhattan apartment to Paris, my room would be the result. There is a gigantic window near my desk which always inspires me to write on my blog.

Speaking of my blog!
A big thanks to the wonderful Louis de Valliere for customizing it! He made sure I had it by the time I was settled into Paris (which is why this blog entry is 4 days late). My vision for this blog is to be a picture blog and a complete record of my experience in Paris: what I learned, what not to do, what I ate etc. Please leave comments! I love them! I look forward to critiques. Tell me what you like, Tell me what you hate. I hope to change my perception as well as other's perception of how they view French Culture.

Tout a l'heure!