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Denise Audette of Atelier Two Can Win

Atelier Two Can Win is led by Denise L. Audette in Montreal, QC.
You can contact me by e-mail: hotgluegone@gmail.com.


I’m a research-oriented designer. I ask a lot of questions, and I do a lot of reading. My library card has more wear & tear than my debit card does. My Google search history is so broad and dense that the NSA probably couldn’t figure out what my deal is if they tried. Design pushes me to learn endlessly, and I love that.

My Process

I dig deep. I do a ton of research, and then I steep in it. I brainstorm until my hand cramps. I love connecting ideas in clever or unusual ways. I transform abstract ideas into tangible visuals. I pour over hundreds of fonts. I draw hand-rendered lettering. I sketch, I sketch, and I sketch. I look for ways to make it all connect. To make something special and meaningful. I want my work to make you feel something when you encounter it.

Atelier Two Can Win process work

Process work: ideas, sketches, and tests

Whatever the nature of a project may be, I always end up working on paper at some point in the process. I love computers and all the possibilities they enable, but my work is always more creative and genuine when I take pencil to paper and let my hand roam free.

I root my work in the analog world not only because it’s more fun, but because I believe it helps me push beyond the boundaries of visual clichés and the emptiness of “clean and good-looking” design.

Authenticity resonates with people. I think there’s a lot of power in creating pieces by hand. Even if they’ll be viewed on-screen in the end. Scanning, photography, and other means of digitization preserve the grit and texture of the original piece. Even though you can’t touch it, you can imagine what it might feel like. Whether you are conscious of it or not, you end up feeling all those little imperfections. The things that make it… real.

Why the name “Two Can Win”?

“Two Can Win” is about dualities. Because nothing in life is ever fully black or white. It’s always somewhere in between. The beauty is in the subtle nuances, the interplay, the synergy of both sides.

My work stems from a blend of analog and digital, yet it will always lean towards the side that suits a project. And though I love the logic and reasoning that stems from in-depth research of a subject, I also believe in exploring the feelings and emotions that are at play. And when it comes to my services, I see it less as a clear-cut transaction, and more as an opportunity for both myself and the client. We each come out on the other side with more than we started with.

The name itself comes from a song.

Music has always been a huge part of my art process. As my inspiration, as a source of energy, even therapeutically, as a means of feeling calm when my computer keeps freezing and I’m on a tight deadline and I’m resisting the urge to smash something. 🙃

I ended up borrowing the name “Two Can Win” from one of my favourite tracks off J Dilla’s album “Donuts”. I love that album so much that I listen to it sparingly, for fear of wearing it out.

Album cover for Donuts by J Dilla J Dilla's album Donuts

Dilla really had a way with choosing samples and composing his songs. His music evokes profound emotions for me. It’s hard to explain. Check out the track “Two Can Win” below, but I also encourage you to check out “Donuts” for yourself sometime. It’s a total masterpiece.