In deep grief over the death of jury member Michel Chanaud

With deep sadness, the Red Dot Team bids farewell to Michel Chanaud who died on Monday, 8 January 2018 all of a sudden. With expertise, dedication and warmness, the creative mind has served as a Red Dot juror and has inspired his jury colleagues and the Red Dot Award personnel alike.

Michel Chanaud – passionate entrepreneur
Michel Chanaud was born in Paris in 1950. He became active as an entrepreneur already at a young age and founded his first company, which focused on design prototyping, in 1969. When Red Dot asked him in 2017 if he would do the same thing again, he answered: “I would do exactly the same thing again. Creating a business requires a lot of agility. You often have to ask yourself if you are doing the right thing. This gives a guarantee of continuity. It also helps to deepen your own relationship with society and with teams and other people.”

Michel Chanaud went on to establish a firm for graphic design, which specialised in creative services and worked for large advertising companies. In the 1980s, with the awareness of the emerging digital revolution in mind, he was appointed CEO of a company that quickly advanced to the leading Apple retailer and the main distributor of Adobe solutions, Quark and Macromedia in France. Michel Chanaud found a quote by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs particularly inspiring: “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

Michel Chanaud as a publisher
In 1989, he founded Pyramyd, a company with training activities focusing on the fields of visual communication, creation and design. This was followed by the launch of the bimonthly published magazine “étapes:”. It ranks among the leading periodicals on graphic design at an international level and has a focus on the worldwide creative scene and visual trends.

Furthermore, Michel Chanaud was the managing director of Pyramyd Éditions, the largest publisher of books on design in France. Against the backdrop of the digital world, the passionate editor and publisher appreciated print products: “Today, the Internet overwhelms us with texts, images and videos. All this is so fleeting that what you see today erases what you saw yesterday. The work of a publisher is to select the projects and the most relevant ideas, and get the best points of view. For the reader, the printed object is still a physical sensation though that the digital media has not replaced yet.”

Evaluating creativity
With his know-how in the creative and print sector, Michel Chanaud has enriched the jury of the Red Dot Award: Communication Design since 2016. He has discussed and evaluated the entries of the competition individually and on site together with his more than 20 colleagues of the expert panel. In professional dialogue with Michel Chanaud, he emphasised what he understands by creativity: “It’s a way to say ‘why not’ when you dream of something, and are convinced that you are right and to be considered as a crank until the idea succeeds.”

Michel Chanaud leaves behind a large gap in the jury of the Red Dot Award. Our sympathy goes to his family, friends and colleagues.