An essential figure in contemporary graphic design, Ich&Kar has been creating a prolific and sparkling universe since 1992. The studio quickly became famous in various fields, with graphics and design as its playing field. Knowing how to play in opposite worlds, they interpret luxury with an ingenious eye: logo for Givenchy, invitations for Guy Laroche's fashion shows, packaging for YSL, etc... From Chanel to arte and perfumes in a free orange state. Thanks to a curiosity and a tireless desire to build, Ich&Kar cultivates a fertile, distinctive and contemporary design.
In addition to its commissioning work, ICH&KAR has been developing a whole range of inspired and inspiring products since its creation: wallpaper, stationery and design objects.
Let's meet Helena Ichbiah, head of Ich&Kar, a studio that enchants everything they touch.
At the office / When you look at Ich&Kar's work, it would be hard to believe that their studio is an Ali Baba cave. Nothing here is like what you would expect from a designer's office. The objects from the hunt are swarming everywhere. Bottles, figurines, letters, spices, a thousand and one objects happily coexist between the living room on the ground floor and the offices on the first floor. ... Atypical collectors, ich&Kar's house is inspired and inspiring.
Beautiful / How many people have "grabbed" the menus from the Backside or Sketch. Many people "sting" Ich&Kar before they know their work. Irresistible? The production of Ich&Kar leads to collection. So to stop these petty thieves, the shop offers you many of their fantasies!!!!!
Color / Absolute monochrom is not part of Ich&Kar's vocabulary. For them, subtlety and chic emanate precisely from colour. They create delicate, simple and elegant colour charts.
Draft / Ich&Kar has many ideas. Needy? No. Intuitive. No pretence, at Ich&Kar we go for it right away.
Encyclopedia / Ich&Kar likes words, adjectives, qualifiers, expressions, proverbs, palindromes, consonances, resonances... Ich&Kar lists... Organize and classify, define the subject by its vocabulary... a writing that tells us that words, signs also collect. Who would have thought that Ich&Kar's computer was full of large lists?
Four eyes People wonder if he draws and if she colours. What does it matter?
Gourmet / The image of the graphic designer slipping into cans and junk food in front of his computer is far from the gastronomic perception of Ich&Kar. Helena and Piotr enjoy good food, good wines, spices and flavours....
Hands / Helena would have loved to have a thousand hands, to transform herself into a modern-day Shiva. Holding the telephone, cigarettes, coffee, navigating with the mouse, leafing through a book, stroking the heads of your children, touching the new paper... This anthropomorphic fascination is spontaneously found in work. From the jewelry tree "Tree" with a thousand hands to the "handbag" that says hello, the motif becomes the leitmotiv.
Influence / Ich&Kar has no particular influences. They have no guru or master. At Ich&Kar it is the subject that will create the influence and not the influences that create the subject.
Joy / At Ich&Kar we may sing a bit wrong, but we laugh true. Laughter, joy and good humour... We are called by the names of little birds... Self-mockery, emotional, frank talk is what Ich&Kar laughs about.
Juggling / Ich&Kar likes to juggle. From the world of publishing to gastronomy, from theatre to perfume, the profusion of subjects enriches each project. There is never a dull moment at Ich&Kar. From the world of luxury to mass consumption, there is no barrier.
Kids / Ich&Kar's first creation was a child, in 1993. The second was a second one, in 1996. The excitement and energy between family and work is their balance. Chiara and Matta are naturally and nonchalantly involved in Ich&Kar's daily professional life.
Liberty / Many people are afraid of Ich&Kar. Because they are "free"? They work alongside independent and large companies with the same approach, remaining insensitive to the wealth of some or the fame of others. Relationships are woven "man to man". There is no fuss here. Their openness is their great strength.
Manufacturing / Ich&Kar loves five-legged sheep. Their meeting with Olivier Gadet from Cent Pages Publishing was precious. He shares their taste for a job well done, their love of the bizarre, the accident, the exploration of complex shaping and has the secret and enthusiasm to tie up multi-stakeholder fabrications.
Nonsense / At Ich&Kar we pâly with words, we use double meanings, hidden fantasies. Word games of polyglot warned on a matchbox "Fire me" for the Condesa df or disarticulated title like "per du bread" for Pierre Hermé...
Object / We started designing wall fixtures then naturally … object.
Phosphowall / Winner of the wallpaper Lab 2008, Ich&Kar imagines a collection of wallpapers with phosphorescent ink that uses natural or artificial light. A playful and poetic concept that reveals a double life on the walls: day and night.
Shifted / It is always our own country that is at the centre of the planisphere. It's all a matter of perspective. Ich&Kar moves, shifts, positions us differently.
Too many ideas kill the idea Ich&Kar's leitmotiv. One idea per project. It is the purity of the idea that makes it strong. Cleaning up from any interference is what gives their work this almost always obvious side.
Team / Valérie Henry agent, Clemence Farrell designer, Bruno Vaerman modelmaker, Eko Sato editor, Olivier Gadet and Agnès manufacturers, Jean-Jacques Pallot photographer, Emmanuel Picault antique designer... it is the Ich&Kar family, friends above all, working partners above all. There is no better way to work in friendship.
Unique / Creating something unique: an essential approach for Ich&Kar. Obviously, we don't always succeed. It doesn't matter. Ambition releases a beautiful energy, the energy to try, which is felt and released in each project.
Value / It's the time you've wasted on your rose that makes your rose so important. St Exupery
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa / Where, How Who we are, Where do we come from, where do we want to go. Who we are (what is the project), where we come from, where we are going, and where we want to go. The final questions Ich&Kar asks before starting a project. This is the key to the Ich&Kar studio.
XXX / Love Great friendships have grown up around projects.
Yes / We must live up to our dreams and not have dreams at our level. Ich&Kar doesn't like the word impossible.
Z as from A to Z The Ich&Kar workshop is a haute couture workshop. We tailor-made it. There is no question of undertaking a project along the way. Neither from A to F, nor from J to Z, everything is done from A to Z. From design to manufacturing.
Read the exclusive Ich&Kar UNBOXED portrait & interview