KOHL NEWS: Let’s Read, Discuss and Create Great Books Together

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At the end of last year we commissioned French-born, Reading-based animator, Chloé Tartinville, to create a quirky animation that would communicate our commitment to publishing great books that; are accessible on multiple platforms, can be discussed within an online community, and are created in collaboration with readers – for instance, enabling readers to vote on book jacket designs. In other words, we wanted something that would sum up our mission statement (forgive the biz rhetoric!); Let’s Read, Discuss and Create Great Books Together.

What we ended up with was this neat little puppet film, which we think is much more interesting than Leila and I harping on about what we do at Kohl HQ - we’re still in there though, in illustrated form! We hope you enjoy it. And if you do, please share the love… The film features on YouTube and Vimeo.


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As you know, we like to shed light on production and celebrate each creative we work with. “Don’t forget the production shots!” is often heard booming from my mouth at Kohl HQ. So this week, we caught up with Chloé to discuss her animation style, her working environment and her obsession with a certain bumbling Brit.

In addition to your freelance work you have a day job at a publishing house. What attracted you to a career in book publishing?

Yes, I’m working as graphic designer for an academic publisher. I chose to work in print design because I wanted to be in contact with paper, even at a time when everything is becoming digital. I also love being surrounded by books and clever people.

Your animation style is really quirky, can you tell us a bit about how you created the Kohl animation? 

I’d say there were three main stages; first the creation of the puppets, backgrounds and accessories in paper form. Second, shooting the scenes with my camera. Third, editing the scenes together on the computer, working on the light and finding suitable music. So it goes from the material to the virtual.

What makes a really good viral video? 

If your video doesn’t feature naked women or kittens, I’d say that it has to be incredibly funny, or super quirky, or with an excellent twist at the end.

If you could name the girl in the animation, what would you name her and why?

I’d call her Nora. Maybe because she has dark wavy hair, and because she seems intelligent, which I imagine is how most Noras are.




Tell us a little bit about your design studio…

That was probably the trickiest bit of this project, making my room, animation studio and natural messiness coexist. At the end, the carpet was completely covered with a multitude of cut-outs papers, wires and clothes. But that’s how I love it!

Chloe’s animation space

We’re always on the lookout for awesome books, can you recommend five must-reads from your home country, France?  

La vie devant soi (The life before us) by Romain Gary,  L’Écume des Jours (Foam of the Daze) by Boris Vian,  En attendant Godot (Waiting for Godot) by Samuel Beckett,  Où on va, Papa? (Were we going, Daddy?) by Jean-Louis Fournier, La Carte et le Territoire (The Map and the Territory) by Michel Houellebecq.

Ok, so I have to ask more about your obsession with Hugh Grant?  

AHAH! How do you know?…I’m afraid this has to stay between me and Hugh.

Och! Ok, we’ll move away from Mr. Grant. Can you name four amazing and inspiring French women (alive or dead)?

Can I change the question to four French-speaking women I particularly admire? (I cheat!). Ok, French director and screenwriter Agnès Jaoui – I especially recommend her movie The Taste of the Others; Iranian-born graphic novelist Marjane Satrapi. Belgian writer Amélie Nothomb – her most well-known novel has been translated to English under the title Fear and Trembling. And finally, French contemporary artist Sophie Calle. All of these women demonstrate an incredible sense of humour in their work, which is definitely one important reason for me to admire them.



Chloé Tartinville works on a freelance basis from Reading in Berkshire. To check out Chloe’s other animated works visit: http://www.youtube.com/user/voilachloe  or  her http://chloeville.blogspot.co.uk/


Linda Kirk
Linda Kirk

Well done girls, fabulous animation, excited to see what comes next ......