The most difficult thing is to get clients to understand is that they cannot do it all at once, but that they have to rationalize their actions and messages within a planned and sequenced digital strategy.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
Baz, 31, Creative Director at FCINQ Agency that I co-founded with Josué Pichot and Sébastien Ayxandri 4 years ago. I am self taught, very passionate with my work and creativity in general, I am also deeply rooted into music.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
Being contacted by people that specifically want to work with us for our creativity and point of view. What else can be as cool as that?
If you weren't working on the internet what would you be doing?
I would probably be working in a music label or be a pro snowboarding rider in The Art Of Flight II (...)
What's the longest you've ever stayed up working on a project?
I remember those three full working days in a row during which I slept 6 hours altogether working on a huge interactive project: la Folle Journée de Julien with M&CSaatchi GAD (http://www.lafollejourneedejulien.com). That was a real challenge to mix photo, video and interactivity everywhere (banners, masthead, website, prerolls, etc…) in a global campaign like that for such an important Key Account as La Banque Postale.
How many projects does your company juggle at any one time?
It varies, but usually a lot. It depends on what you count in that but at FCINQ we are always excited working on very different projects in terms of size, field and context and like to take every new one with a fresh approach.
What area of web design lacks the most?
Music and sound are definitely what lack the most in web design. They often underused, whereas they are inherent to a real immersive experience as well as essential for setting up image and tonality.
Has winning FWA awards helped you in any way?
Of course! Not all clients are totally aware of the recognition status, but it has always been a real joy and motivation boost for the team and a valuable award for partners, network and clients.
When dealing with major clients, how difficult is it to meet the needs of such wide target audiences?
The most difficult thing is to get clients to understand is that they cannot do it all at once, but that they have to rationalize their actions and messages within a planned and sequenced digital strategy. Experiential or corporate website, brand content and storytelling, CRM, services and applications, social conversations, events, … All these correspond to different targets at different times of a global strategy. These steps need to be really thought to be complementary and coherent within the same brand promise. At a certain point it is like building a long time and true relationship with clients.
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
The web is getting out of the web. Do you find that thinking in digital solutions alone hinders you? Do you feel the urge to solve the problem using all mediums necessary?
The most important thing is the creative concept and how does it lives and is spread, digitally or not. The thing is that the web is today the most creative media and the most interactive one. But it’s true that mixing and crossing mediums can often get the most of what you need, and at FCINQ I am happy to have creative and passionate brains that think outside the pure digital field.
Of all the websites you/your company have produced, which one are you most proud of?
That is hard to say, I am proud of any work we output ! More personally, I am quite pleased of Havana Mojito (http://www.havana-mojito.com) on which I spent a lot of time creating a fluid experience on a full Flash video website without hardly any loading perceived (with a broadband connection).
What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it? Is it still online?
I think it was a whole weather system which was real-time plugged on weather.com, dealing with 4 producing areas corresponding to 4 whisky brands on an experiential website for Pernod Ricard. Each weather type was randomly generated (clouds, rain, etc…) and animated over a papervision shaped earth that I terrain mapped inside Cinema 4D. I spent a lot of time refining things to make them fluid and lively, but that was quite a nice experience. It is not online anymore but you can see part of it in our 2010 Showreel.
There is perhaps a shift in web use these days. We are seeing a decline in the purelyexperiential sites in flash with huge production efforts, to a relationship with clients based on tools and services, that many times have simples interfaces. How do you see that trend developing? Will Flash suffer?
The “services and tools” web is indeed developing, due to new technologies, mobile and tablets, realtime info, cloud computing, etc… and I think that some simplicity and efficiency is a good thing for the internet nowadays. Then, as any trend, it seems to lead but for me it shouldn’t cannibalize the need for experiences, innovation, music atmosphere and creativity. And we have to remember that no service or tool in itself will make a brand sexy!
What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?
As a self-taught boy I would say definitely yes !
If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring FWA award submitter, what advice would you give them?
Paraphrasing the masters, I would say learn every day, believe in yourself and above all just have fun :)
How difficult do you find employing the right people in a world where everyone calls themselves a web designer?
Sharing identical values and motivation is more important that any shining portfolio. And I am lucky to have a real dream team !
How do you keep up with the latest capabilities of Flash or do you rely on other members of you team to do this?
As a creative director I prefer to rely on technical experts and try to keep a more global creative approach.
There must be a project that you have always dreamed of doing, what is it?
Well, if ANY snowboarding brand hears me…
What are you excited about learning next and is there a long term challenge you are considering tackling?
There is still a lot to do in interactive video. Techniques can be mixed more than ever to tell great interactive stories! Talking about long term, I think that interactive design can be a lifetime challenge in itself.
It has been a privilege, thanks very much
Thank you, it has been mine, and thanks to all my beloved people @FCINQ and to the agency @M&CSaatchiGAD !