ESAC École Supérieure d’art & de communication de Cambrai

T +33 (0)3 27 83 81 42

Post-baccalauréat (or equivalent)

3 or 5 years

Communication, graphic design

Diplôme national d’art (DNA, conférant le grade licence)
Diplôme national supérieur d’expression plastique (DNSEP,  conférant le grade master)


Director General
Gilles Dupuis

Teaching staff
Keyvane Alinaghi, multimédia, création numérique
David Ayoun, vidéo
Diane Boivin, création éditoriale
Christine Bouvier, dessin / gravure
David Braillon, design graphique
Catherine Chevalier, théorie
Étienne Dubois, photographie
Gilles Dupuis, design graphique
Stéphanie Mahieu, langue vivante
Caroll Maréchal, théorie de la communication & design graphique
Thibaut Robin, graphisme et expérimentation numérique
Mathias Schweizer, design graphique
Bruno Souêtre, design graphique
Caroline Tron-Carroz, histoire de l’art
Fred Vaësen, art
Agnès Villette, photographie
Mark Webster, création numérique

Teaching assistants
Romain Descours: video

Printing technician
Virginie Flahaut



The history of the school begins in the late 18th century, in 1780, when it was created in the studios of two artists in Cambrai, Antoine-François Saint-Aubert and Benoît Marho. In 1832 the school was given “academy of fine arts” statutes and in 1894 it moved in to dedicated premises in Rue Saint-Fiacre.
Now located at 130 Allée Saint-Roch, the École Supérieure d’Art de Cambrai is a public art school under the authority of the French Ministry of Culture and Communication. It offers three diplomas and runs a research programme as well as artistic and cultural activities.

Programmes at ESAC are dedicated to print and screen publishing. They put students in the position of creators disseminating meaning and authors testing concepts in three main areas:

– the processing and indexing of data (data journalism),
– the representation of complex data (data visualisation),
–documentary investigation, press illustrations and topical cartoons.

These lines comes together in the foundations of an emerging history of “Design Research” that is still being defined, but forged in Britain and the United States from the 1960s onwards.

The four main methodological tools being established concern, respectively, research

– on graphic design

– in graphic design
– for graphic design
– by graphic design.

The research on graphic design will look at the actual practice and, by extension, the profession. This embraces historical studies and the exploration of contemporary issues. The aim is to document, interpret, assess and cast light on a body of knowledge, from historical studies (cf. Pierre Bayle, “Dictionnaire Historique et Critique,” Sylvain Piron, “La Dialectique du Monstre”) and thematic questions (cf. FibreTigre, “Le Champ des Oubliés”), to monograph studies. These subjects can be addressed by taking an experimental approach to documentation (see the “Scénario Dispositif autour de Pierre Faucheux,” ESAC Cambrai 2015, Atelier Échelle 1).

Secondly, research in graphic design covers interpretative and speculative notions in the field of graphic design. The aim here is to outline new practices and forms of production, but also of distribution. This distributive dimension includes public space, the place where graphic design is experienced (the Autoroute de Traverse atelier). Also, research for graphic design fully integrates research into the process of production (cf. Richard Niessen, “A Hermetic Componium of Typographic Mansonery”). This is creative research on a given subject, but also on its users, its readers and protagonists (cf. student productions, work by ÉSAC guests and the companies Stipa, Lézard Graphique, and Art & Caractère).

Let us add, finally, the concept of “research by design” established in 1993 by Professor Christopher Frayling at the the Royal College of Art. The creativity concerned here is performative (cf. Peter Bankov, ARC Spécimen, Échelle 1), exploratory and investigatory.