Thomas Palacin-Danthine, Co-Founder & Creative Director of DEUUX

Creative Director and Co-Founder of his own studio, DEUUX, Thomas is ready to set his mark on the design scene in Luxembourg and beyond. 

Hey Thomas, can you tell us more about your company DEUUX ?

Hi, I’m the Co-Founder and Creative Director of DEUUX! We are a creative studio founded in Luxembourg, since 2017. We play around with a lot of design stuff, illustrations, UX/UI, paper design, web design, sometimes motion design and we are always happy to help and give advice.

What did you do before this?

I lived and worked in Brussels for 5 years. I was an Art Director in a brand and packaging agency mainly for food brands like Delhaize. Fun fact: There’s an 80% chance that you’ve got at least 1 piece of packaging that I made in your kitchen. It was a great opportunity to learn skills, especially because creativity in packaging needs to be efficient, and is viewed by millions of consumers every day in the most competitive landscape, 5 to 10 brand side by side, 0.5sec to convince consumer to choose you.

 

Before that, I studied in Namur after completing a technical school in art and infographic design. In 2012, I was a competitor at Worldskills in London, which is like the Olympics for technical and manual skills, with roughly 1300 competitors, from 76 countries, and 51 skill categories. Each country has a delegation, and selects 1-2 competitors to compete for each category. In 2015, the Belgian delegation asked me to again take the “expert” role which means I train the next competitors, share their experiences, and along with other experts from other countries prepare the next competitions.

So how did you make the leap to starting DEUUX?

When I finished my studies I wanted to be in the branding and packaging design field, as I really like the tangible aspect, and moved to Brussels for a job opportunity… but starting a family in a big city was never a goal we shared with my girlfriend. So after 5 years, we decided to moved to Arlon.

Then, I tried out design agencies in Luxembourg, only to realize we do not share the same design values and quality process. In essence, this is what led me to start DEUUX with a friend.

What is your source of inspiration ?

I keep track of agencies like Stranger & Stranger, Design Bridge, and Base Design. Also, I look at design trends and illustrations, UI design, art.. nothing specific. I think a good designer should be like a sponge and soak up everything around them.

Do you prefer rebranding or starting from scratch?

Sometimes rebranding can be really interesting, because it gives you a chance to see what didn’t work too well and how it can be done better.

What makes you unique?

I don’t think I’m unique, but I had the chance to compete in Worldskills. Also, I’m very positive and for me, design always has to push boundaries, I try to reflect this in our work and push my designers to do the same.

How would you describe a typical day working on your project?

That’s the magic of a creative studio, there is no typical day 🙂

What are your goals or plans for your company?

I don’t plan on DEUUX becoming a big global agency, but I would like to create a network of small studios, where each studio focuses on a specific skill. This way when there is a larger project to develop, we would pool in all studios and expertise. If I have the opportunity, I would love to buy another studio in Barcelona, Singapore, SF, I don’t know yet. I just want be inspired by different design cultures.

What’s the story behind the name of your creative studio, DEUUX ?

We were thinking of something simple yet stupid, since we are two founders, we simply added an extra u to deux (French for two)…. it’s easy to remember. Keeping it simple is the secret to good branding!

Why did you choose The Office?

We’ve been here since 2 months, and really I like the mood at Charlotte. It’s friendly and I want my agency to be like this. And a message to everyone who sees our super Nintendo through the window, you can come to play, I don’t bite.. but please don’t give food to Logan, I’m not responsible if your fingers disappear.

If you could give aspiring entrepreneurs or freelancers, any advice, what would it be?

I have 2 pieces of advice: “Stay close too your accountant and your finances”, don’t trust, verify.. Secondly, sometimes you just have to stop thinking and just jump in! I come from a small town in Belgium and I’m the first person in my family to become an entrepreneur. Of course, I had all these questions on my mind when I first told my family I would start my own business… but sometimes you have to try, to see what you can do!

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