After going it alone for several years, Brussels-based graphic designers Delphine Dupont (32) and Flore Van Ryn (37) joined forces in 2008 and conjured up graphic design studio Face to Face. Their clients range from the much-hyped Potemkine bar to fashion label Rue Blanche. Oh, and did we mention? They’re also the creative force behind the inimitable geography of The Word Magazine’s layout, together with Pierre and Damien from pleaseletmedesign. Doing well, then.
Why is two better than one?
D: In the artistic field it is always better to be more than one. When you’re all by yourself there comes a point when you cannot judge your own work anymore. It’s good to get another opinion. You make each other better in the end.
F: That’s very simple: Because there are two brains instead of one and four hands instead of two. This means more creativity, more input. When you work alone you are never really confronted with criticism, and criticism is very important. Being two multiples our possibilities. For example we can go to different meetings at the same time or if one of us goes on holidays it doesn’t mean that the workflow stops. It also reassures our clients, because they know there’s always a back up.
Isn’t two harder than one?
F: No. Of course you have to deal with being confronted to another opinion and you have to let go a bit of your own idea sometimes, but that’s not really difficult.
D: You have to find compromises of course and you have to adapt yourself a bit, but it’s not harder, no.
Does 1+1 always equal 2?
F: I’d say 1+1 makes 3: Because it triples the possibilities.
D: It makes three because we created a third entity: Face to Face Design. It’s something that could theoretically even continue without us one day.
Do either of you ever wish it was just 1? (Be honest!)
F: No. Of course things are not always perfect, but it’s always better than being alone.
D: No. We function really well together and never have fights actually.
Is 2 better than 3? In French they say never 2 without 3…
F: Three is great! It means some fresh air, even more ideas and two more hands to help. That’s why we almost always have interns. And we are just in the beginning, maybe we’ll really be three one day.
D: Just when we have a bad intern, then we think two might be better (laughter).
Can you remember a life without your +1?
D: My memory is actually quite vague. I remember I was working home alone and tried to organise myself somehow…
F: I remember quite well. There were no fixed hours, I was working at night a lot, and it was very flexible. Now our hours resemble those of civil servants (laughter). Everything is much more structured. But that’s also because I have kids now.
Is it all 50/50?
D: Nearly. Just when it comes to some of our old clients we work separately. The spirit is definitely 50/50. But we are not pedantic when it comes to that, we don’t calculate the hours we work or things like that.
F: We basically divide everything, also money-wise. But we don’t compare all the receipts to calculate every single cent. I think that’s also one of the reasons why we don’t fight. It’s completely like being in a couple, actually.