For designers, more than any other profession, a website isn't just an online portfolio, it's a distillation of who you are creatively, professionally and even personally. Are you serious, academic or more laid back? Are you more digital or handmade DIY? The stakes are high, but rightfully so. Color, text, typeface—these are the tools of the trade as well as the means of conveying what a designer can do with them.
So what does French designer Fanette Mellier's website say about her? She has one of those user friendly/unfriendly sites, the kind that seem intuitive but make you work a little harder to access the information therein, because first you have to figure out the site itself. There are no instructions, no "my name is Fanette, I'm a designer and here is my work." It's more like a friendly game of cat and mouse. Click on a link and you're rewarded with a pop-up window. Click on the image in the window and you get a new image (no arrows to guide you forward and backwards) as well as text (in French) detailing each project.
On the one hand it's frustrating. On the other, it's pretty remarkable. I love how when you click through her work for "Celles Qui Savaient," the images build up on the same page instead one page after the next. "Specimen" gives a clue into her rainbow obsession (the background of her site is constantly moving through the entire color spectrum), and I love "Casanova Forever" for purely aesthetic reasons. Normally I wouldn't go through all the projects on a designer's site, but because Mellier's bio page isn't immediately obvious, she forces you to click through her work individually, which gives you a much clearer picture of who she is and what she does than any plain description could. Her bio page, translated here via Google translate (I've fixed the incorrect pronouns) adds little to what we learn from the design of her site alone.Born in 1977, graduated in 2000 from the Graduate School of Decorative Arts in Strasbourg, Fanette Mellier continued her training by working a few years with designers whose work she admires: Pierre Di Sciullo, then Pierre Bernard in the Workshop graphic design. In 2005, she moved as a freelance graphic designer, working for sponsors in the field of literary publishing, and cultural and social action, among others.
Moreover, between 2007 and 2009, she was in residence at the pole graphics town of Chaumont, on the sidelines of the Festival, where she led a project on the relationship between graphic design and literature. Her work is centered, with a certain porosity, between control projects and research, around the issue of the printed object.