This month, meet Thibaut Soulcié, web and graphic designer at Nuxeo. Seated at the kitchen table in his family home, the young Thibaut would diligently trace the political cartoons from the "Canard Enchainé". Now, as a graphic designer working for Nuxeo, Thibaut is the keen eye responsible for Nuxeo's public face.
What communicates the spirit of a software provider to its community? For the last seven years Thibaut Soulcié has wrestled with that question. He has shaped the look of everything from the Web site to t-shirts--ensuring the parts harmoniously reflect the whole.
How is the work that you do important to the average Nuxeo community member?
The communication and image is Nuxeo's spirit. It can be what makes you want to explore further when you visit the site for the first time. It's the little pictures in the Twitter background or sites that make it entertaining and pleasing.
What are some of your current projects?
You know, we use git as our source repository. I am working on our company page for gitHub to list all our projects. GitHub is customizable. You can make it look really good. So I am working on this. It is something that concerns the community of Nuxeo developers directly.
I am also working on t-shirts for upcoming Nuxeo events. People working with Nuxeo want to represent the spirit of the community. It is an exciting project in that way. Developers can be like musicians in a band--they dress in black, some of them have long hair, they like beer a lot, and there are rock star developers, too. Whenever these guys post on a forum, they are like gurus. So t-shirts are important to them, just like for bands.
What is a favorite resource of yours when it comes to web design? Maybe you can give developers working with Nuxeo some tips and tricks from a seasoned web designer?
I am a big fan of Smashing Magazine. They have interesting portfolios of, for instance menus or new html5 effects, or what have you. These can give you some inspiration, and then sometimes they have more technical articles on, for instance, SEO. SEO is not at all graphic design, but implementing design with it in mind is fully part of what I do.
I don't have any specific tips but I have a request for developers who customize or extend the Nuxeo Platform: developers typically use correct HTML semantics, but sometimes their contributions lack classes and IDs, which make them difficult to style. Also I should say it again, please don't steal visual content from Google Image Search. That might be fine during the private work cycle, but as it is open-source code, and they may want to make it public, they have to be careful. There are enough creative commons resources available, that you shouldn't need to take a protected image. Try for instance http://www.iconfinder.com.
What's your favorite browser?
Firefox is my old lady even if it's becoming old and fat and Chrome is much more appealing.
What's your favorite js library?
I have heard about the fact that you have a side job, can you tell us a bit about it?
I am a comic artist and I draw political cartoons. You can check out www.soulcie.fr if you are curious!
Is this a dangerous job?
No, you are maybe not seen well in certain circles, but you can say anything where I live, in France. The biggest risk for a political cartoonist here is not getting paid.
How did you start drawing political cartoons?
I was in art school working on projects, and I would listen to the radio while I worked. The news would come on, and the stories were so enraging that I started to draw cartoons to let off steam. Cabu, a famous political cartoonist in France, he says, "Cartoon's are the peoples' revenge." That is why you can spend a lot of time on it, without publishing it--it is very fulfilling just doing it!