In the times of the all-encompassing digital medium, as a working graphic designer in today’s world, it is very refreshing to find such handmade beauty. Especially when they feature such analogue delights, and bring forward so many fond memories. Come and meet the Zim & Zou ‘Back to Basics’ art project.
I first came across this work while I was ‘researching’ (aka: I was very bored and wanted to look at pretty things) for a graphic project of my own. I must admit that my favorite tool for this, at least when I have to stay indoors at the office (unfortunately this is most of the time) is the Behance online platform.
An image immediately sprang to my attention, as it often happens when the subject happens to be a film camera. This one though had a bit of extra color to it.
Zim & Zou is a studio of “graphic creators”, as they call themselves, that is based in Nancy, France. What makes them stand out from the hundreds of other studios such as this one is that they went ‘Back to the Basics’. Instead of creating pictures with vectors and digital software, they use plain old-school colored papers and scissors. I must admit that I think they’re my new heroes.
Overall, their work is very stimulating and creative, with a level of fun that all adults probably wish they could keep in their work after growing up. I know ‘I’ wish I could be this playful in my work.
They only work with PEFC papers (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification ) and in favor of defending the environment, they claim to use every little scrap of paper to its maximum.
Their modus operandis can be witnessed through a behind the scenes video they made available alongside the project pictures.
You can appreciate their vast gallery of work here but I would like to emphasize one particular project, that is still in progress, but is in existence for over a year now.
As you may have deduced already the project’s name is Back to Basics and it basically boils down to building real-life scale paper models of old technological (mostly analogue) relics.
There is a slight twist though, as all pieces are imbued with a garish rainbow-level span of different and clashing colors. I absolutely love it.
Some of the objects aren’t strictly from the analogue era, like the MS-DOS floppy disk, but they are so old school, and so pretty in hand-cut colorful paper that I find myself wanting to include them in the analogue roll.
My favorite is definitely the 35mm roll, because I feel the compulsion to actually load it and use it.
I believe the first camera is modeled after the Leica M2. I must admit that every picture brought a fond smile to my face, especially as it reminded me of instances when I used, or watched someone else use, those pinnacles of technological advance, back in the day.
Hope this will trigger some very happy memories for you as well.