I've really been admiring the work of the Paris-based design studio wa75 since I stumbled across their website the other week.
Laurent Meszaros of wa75 had some really great things to say in response to an email I sent to him (+ other designers) asking about the influence of the Bauhaus on his work. He brought up an interesting point about graphic design in France that I hadn't thought about before:
"...in France, the terms 'design' or 'designer' doesn't apply to graphic designers. We are bound to the whole history of painting, carving, printing, etc. We are supposed to be artists that have failed… (creepy isn't it ?). Graphic design (in France) doesn't have the same history as in Germany, England or Netherlands, and of course in America."