Under the Hood with… Adeline Marteil

1 year ago by

DA and Adobe have partnered up our live online event series Under the Hood, this week on Thursday the 6th of August.

We spoke to the presenters to learn more about their design career, process, the project they will be sharing and their hopes for the future of Aotearoa design.

Today we hear from Adeline Marteil, Senior Designer, Shine

With thanks to our event partners Adobe.


Can you tell us a little bit about who you are, what your background is, and how you first got started in the industry?

I studied Graphic Arts in France and the UK (Bristol). After graduating, I worked for ‘Le Cercle Noir’ on and off for about five years while also freelancing – primarily for non-profits. 

This experience enabled me to live and travel all around the world, soaking up inspiration from myriad cultures. Always keen to learn and hungry for new experiences, I came to New Zealand where I started a food truck business while also working at Shine as a Senior designer on projects ranging from branding to spatial design.

What does your typical working day as Senior Designer at Shine involve?

I usually come in two hours early to enjoy the quiet, do some deep work and prepare my day. Then it’s a mix of briefing, crafting and regrouping on current projects. At the moment, I tend to work on one or two big jobs at the time, which helps me to stay focused and efficient.

What insight can you give us to your design process?

I’m still figuring it out, and refining the key steps; 

It starts by asking the right questions: the artwork specs, deadlines, people I should be in touch with, and, in case of creative briefs, what do I want to make the audience feel or do.

I research visual and ideas references. 

Ideally, I like to include “ingredients” that I’ve collected along the way from my personal experiences (a font, a book, exhibitions, travels…). It adds a distinctive flavour to the mix that you can’t find on Pinterest. 

Then I sketch ideas and test the ones I find the most interesting. Personally, it’s the most critical part of the process. I sometimes get stuck in a cycle of self-doubts and search for more references if I’m not finding the right vibe, which can be time-consuming and exhausting. 

The hardest part is complete when the idea and the execution click together!

What project will you be presenting in Under the Hood?

Shine’s rebranding. It’s a challenging but exciting situation to be building your own house.

What was the most challenging part of the project and what lessons did you draw from it? 

Usually, I tend to agree with the principle that form should follow function. In this case, it should follow ambition. 

Now that the brand is complete, it is up to the agency to realise a promise of positive growth, for the clients, the employees and the direct environment in which Shine operates. The brand ideals should also be reflected in our studio culture, and only time will tell if it was successful.

Was there an ‘Aha!’ moment in the project when things clicked and fell into place?

When I found how we could break down the symbol of the logomark into parts, lego-style, and have fun with it! Having a sense of playfulness and flexibility is awesome.

Do you have a favourite feature or shortcut in Adobe Creative Cloud programs?

I recently discovered the use of extensions in InDesign. For instance, I can use the Page Proof extension to send work for review from InDesign and get the feedback directly in the file as well. Everything is tracked by Page Proof, saving us time on export and email.

What have you been working on recently?

I’m working on a large scale experience that includes branding, UI design and spatial design, but I can’t say more about it just yet! 

With a small team, we’re also working on making the future of Shine more open and welcoming to diversity. The agency, and the whole industry, should be pushing for real and concrete changes in the long run. 

It starts by asking questions and allocating time in our schedules to answer them.


2020 has thrown us some curveballs, how has Shine adapted? 

Refining our offering with new products and services, hence the new branding. It’s been an opportunity to reflect on goals and business matters, which is exciting. 

But let’s face it, it’s also been tough on the team and our mental health like in many other places. Time will tell if the sacrifices and compromises that we made have put us in the best position possible for what’s next.

Outside of work hours what creative projects and/or hobbies are you involved with? 

Boxing and learning Japanese. Both activities allow me to connect differently with people. Otherwise, lot’s of reading and a bit of drawing.

What do you hope for the future of design in New Zealand? 

I hope New Zealand will keep embracing and push further its inherent potential. Everything starts to look the same everywhere; we can’t help it. It would be wonderful for New Zealand to find deep creative strengths in its diverse mix of cultures. It’s not about using it as a varnish but rather about asking how it could inform the creative thinking of the country. Importing the best from the international scene is great but it should be questioned in the light of what makes sense for New Zealand’s ambitions. For instance, do we really need more Westfield-like malls? Or bars with festoon lights?

And finally, what areas of your work or personal development are you hoping to explore further?

Storytelling! I’ve relied too much on the idea that the work should speak for itself when I then have to present it, sell it, criticise it. 

From a creative angle as well, knowing how and which stories to tell is a potent tool for influencing people. I want to be better at conveying key messages, especially since I’m not working in my mother tongue.


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