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Madeon talks about Good Faith art & visuals – Reddit AMA

Anirudh Singh

In Design in Music, For Producers Posted

Hugo Pierre Leclercq, better known by his stage name Madeon released his latest album “Good Faith” last week. Ever since it’s release, the album has garnered a massive audience & has quickly become a fan favorite.

Good Faith is an incredibly important album for the fans, and understandably so – as this is Madeon’s first album since 2015 (and his first release at all since 2016).

Not only does this album have a unique sound design, but it also features a very simple – yet peculiar visual style created by Madeon himself. If you’ve come across ANY Good Faith content, you’re familiar with it already:(

To promote the album, Madeon held an AMA (Ask Me Anything) today on r/electronicmusic

I went through all the responses and collected the ones where he talks about the Good Faith artworks, live visuals or it’s artistic theme in general (Plus some bonus ones at the bottom).

The AMA

What do you use to create the gradient map art for Good Faith? (u/ItsBeboy)

I use a different system for still images & for video. I made a little bible with all the little tricks that make it feel <<specific>> but I have to keep the secret!

How long ago did you start planning the visuals for Good Faith Live, and how did you choose them? (u/somecat225)

I started conceptualizing that show in 2016 and have been collecting mock-ups and references since.

 It was quite a large endeavor to make because the majority of it is live-action and original footage (so we had to get costumes made, film actors with a green screen, travel across the world with a video team etc). The upside of that is that almost every shot in the show evokes a cool memory! 

Transforming the raw footage into the actual show was also one of the dopest creative moments of my life. We assembled a team of super talented, very different people and we all lived together in an AirBnB for weeks experimenting and editing all these ideas, everybody contributed their unique skills. We became very close, we were all so inspired and excited by what we were making. We’re very proud of the visual show we made.

You’ve earlier mentioned that this album has a big them of “Joy”. What are some other themes & inspirations that went into this album? (u/Garagebasswobble)

Good Faith started with an intense burst of joy that fizzled out dramatically. I tried to get that joy back and make sense of what it was. It led to a journey of self discovery that was life-changing That’s the main thing that this album chronicles for me. 

How did you come up with the live visuals, especially the “hooded characters”?

I wanted the live show to feel more rooted in fiction than the rest of the era, so introducing characters and more lore-heavy elements was natural. I see « Good Faith Live » as a distinct sub brand of Good Faith with its own visual canon. 

For the characters, I worked with a fashion designer to create costumes for our actors and filmed them in a green-screen studio in Hollywood. It was so so so so fun, felt like all these behind the scenes movie DVD bonuses I watched as a child.

The GFL lighting design is very futuristic and helps build the specific Good Faith Live world. What was your approach to making these lighting choices distinct from your other tours? Why did you choose it to be heavily back-lit? (u/immaprotractor)

I was very interested in the idea of being silhouetted, I felt like it helped cement a presence and create more expressive looks. I wanted something more theatrical that didn’t feel like a standard dance music show. Being hidden being a table wasn’t feeling comfortable anymore, that was a real starting point.(mic stand image)

It seems Good Faith as a whole has a heavy reliance on typography. What inspired this approach, compared to Adventure’s more “graphic” visuals? (u/Sn0ey)

I fell in love with busy, functional, packaging inspired graphic design (like Japanese obi strips). I felt like it communicated the manic excitement of Good Faith quite well. 

We looked through thousands of fonts to collect the ones we loved, plus I designed a bunch of new versions of the Imperial runes (bolder variants, thin one, etc) to fit different contexts. 

Samuel (Raegular) made all the song logos, some were based on logos I commissioned over the years. He’s a genius, one of my favorite designers. He works with all my favorite french rappers and has made some of the coolest packages I’ve seen.

What kind of universe inspired you for Good Faith? It feels really intimate. (u/IPlayFan)

My artistic tastes expanded a ton during the development of Good Faith. I listened to a lot more music than ever, watched so many movies, went to museums and exhibitions. All of it informed the project immensely. Since I had a good sense of the feeling I wanted to capture from the very start, I consumed everything through that lens, trying to see what technique I could learn from what I was consuming that I could apply to Good Faith.

What’s your favourite color? And favourite animal?

Turquoise!
Cats are cool.

BONUS

Why did you decide to make Good Faith an ‘artist’ album instead of a ‘producer’ album?

I was nervous but after Shelter, I felt like that direction (writing and singing more personal lyrics) was the next step. So many of my favourite albums feel like they come from a specific human being like they’re lived in, and I wanted to do that too this time.

How involved was Porter in the creation of the album?

Super involved! I’ve been playing him demos every step of the way & he’s been the most enthusiastic champion of that vision. He always puts me back on track when I was lost, his perspective and support was impossibly important.

What advice would you give to a younger Madeon learning to make better music? (u/SimoTRU7H)

I would tell myself: Broaden your musical culture!! VSTs aren’t as cool as ideas.

(You might like: The rising trend of broad-frame album artworks)


Conclusion

I’m personally a big fan of Hugo’s visual side. He did an amazing job at the Adventure artwork and has been killing it with the Good Faith content so far. I’ve been desperately trying to recreate the effect but it always seems to be a *little* off.

I was hoping we would get some insights into his design workflow in this AMA, but I respect his decision to keep that to himself. Besides, we got to see a whole chunk of what inspired his work. I think that’s more important.

Go check out the album! And if you want to give your images a colorful Good Faith look, try Madeon’s new Instagram filter! Follow me on my Instagram to stay updated with more such content.

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