Graphic Artist Astrid Chevallier Introduces the Profession of ‘Affichiste’

Los Angeles, CA – One of the most imaginative and talented graphic artist of our times, Astrid Chevallier, is seeing red lately. And in Chevallier’s case “red” symbolically stands for both passion & revolution, organically merging under the marquee of Purple Red – the avant-garde business venture she founded six years ago specializing in the art of movie poster design.

The French born artist is a visionary on a mission: to bring the lost artistry of movie poster design back to its roots, namely sense and sensibility through creativity.

In this ever-growing world, the cascade of rapidly developing high-technologies has drastically changed the landscape of all things graphic design. The latest technologies have created new means and developments with the usage of new softwares, printing technologies and graphic designing tools that have become more flexible and practical, subsequently making the field more accessible. In recent years there has been a notable shift in trends with regards to movie poster designs. Trading creativity and craftsmanship for mass production, movie posters have suffered from lack of originality.

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The creative craftsmanship that used to go into poster design seem to have been lost to technology or perhaps studio executives who favor big glamour shots of the actors supported by some quick Photoshop fixes and special effects to the detriment of creative concept, time and care.

This is where Chevallier comes in… Delivering a unique approach to a profession largely dominated by men, Chevallier understands that the future of visual communication and graphic design lies in the “return to basics” philosophy where marketing, functionality, creative sensibility and artistic finesse converge.

Chevallier transforms the approach to movie poster designing by re-introducing the long lost craft of an artistic profession known (in French) as “affichiste.”

With her Purple Red business flagship, she has already made quite an impact with a prolific portfolio exuding not only her brilliant sense of color, texture, design, imagination and style but as well her mastery of the strategic process involved in creating these marketing visual materials. She has the gifted ability to transmute mere film still images, collages and/or headshots into wildly innovative, flamboyant out of the box movie poster designs and illustrations that are graphically compelling and culturally gripping.

She pioneered the unique style of mixing painted elements with photographs and textures, as well as using typography as a graphic element.

Never short on assignments, Chevallier’s contribution to the craft encompasses an impressive list of film/TV credits attached to some of the most prominent studios such as Walt Disney, Warner Bros, Sony Pictures, ABC Family, Direct TV and Buena Vista Television.

Her list of accolades includes being selected for the International Exhibition of Cultural Poster & Street Art; displayed on Internet Movie Poster Awards; invited to give a lecture about the role of the designer in today’s climate at The Art Institute of New York City; granted a solo exhibition of her posters at the University of Caen (France). She is also responsible for the graphic design of award-winning independent film projects including “South of Pico” and “A Necessary Death.”

She has been nominated to judge among her peers of distinguished industry professionals at the 38th Annual Hollywood Reporter Key Art Award held this upcoming June 12 at Los Angeles MOCA. The Key Art Award is the only international competition honoring the art and craft of posters, trailers and emerging media of motion picture and home entertainment marketing materials.

Astrid has certainly done it all. Throughout her life-long artistic voyage, she dipped into a multitude of creative outlets from drawing, painting, sculpting, advertising, to photography, typography, calligraphy, illustration and graphic design.

Armed with a prestigious Fine Art academic curriculum earned at established Art Schools in Paris, France, Chevallier’s career grew largely out of her enthusiasm and pre-graduation serendipitous encounter with Egon Schiele’s paintings while visiting The Belvedere Museum in Vienna, Austria. She was so moved by the intensity of the paintings that she had to leave the room to catch her breath before re-entering it again. It was then that she caught the visual bug!

Yet Chevallier still had a long way to go before finding her voice and niche with Purple Red. With an extensive knowledge in software programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Quark Xpress, she took a teaching position at a design school in Paris. She also worked on interactive media such as CD-roms and experimental animations, explored early html coding and co-signed a self-training CD-rom about treatment of digital pictures. In addition, she pursued her painting vocation exhibiting her work in galleries throughout France and abroad. And perhaps most importantly she started to design posters for several prominent French cities and for a variety of theatre plays.

Evidently her hard-work and talented skills didn’t go unnoticed. New York based design-headhunter Rita Sue Siegel who was looking for a talented Art Director with an expertise in cultural poster, came across Chevallier’s resume and introduced her to her client. Astrid moved to LA joining the elite team of the world-renown LA based design firm Seiniger Advertising whose list of credits feature the who’s who in movie poster designing with classics as Jaws, Moonstruck, Born on the Fourth of July, The Last Emperor, The Body Guard, Private Benjamin and Terminator III.

With the optic of stretching the limits to her craft, Chevallier eventually went solo and developed her own signature style under her Purple Red marquee. Bringing her European influences and her conceptual vision to the table, Chevallier is adding a cutting edge twist into the $250 million business of creating movie posters and changing the way movie concepts are sold.

“My goal is to emphasize an emotional aspect of the subject in a design” says Chevallier, “It allows a poster to grab your attention very quickly and to deliver a more profound idea when you hang it on your wall and take the time to really look at it.”

While the primary goal of the movie poster designer is to get the client’s message out to the public with the intention of enticing movie ticket sales, for Astrid it is also about defining the identity of the movie. “Posters more often than not leave the single most powerful impression,” says Chevallier.

There’s no denying that a poster can make or break a movie; after all it’s the one visual image that becomes the ultimate trademark of a movie. And for Astrid Chevallier her own personal creative identity visually stands on billboard in front of movie theaters.

For more information on Astrid Chevallier and Purple Red visit: