.

As a designer I may wear what I like - even in a presentation. I have the permission to be an official freak.

  Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

I had classic training as an advertising merchant in a small advertising agency here in Hannover, Germany. Whilst training I worked on graphics for computer games. After my training I became Art Director in that agency and concentrated mainly on print design. A few months later I became bored and tried my luck as a freelancer for other design agencies.

I met my current business partner in 1998 and we founded an agency called WM Team (Weimar + Michael + Team) in late 1999. We have had a lot of fun and success since then! By the way, thanks for that to everybody at WM Team!

  What do you do for inspiration?

Collecting dvds (160 until now...), reading design books, checking websites and fooling around with flash until something works.

  Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

www.ultrashock.com & www.flashkit.com for coding tips, www.apple.com for new movie trailers.

  What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

Making "WM Team" well known with some simple animations.

  What software couldn’t you live without?

Mac OS, Reason, Photoshop, Freehand and Flash (of course)... If you want to know what software I COULD live without I would say: Windows!

  What projects do you have in the pipeline?

More than likely, we will become the new lead agency for the German soccer league - watch out for that. We will, also, do some stuff for Def Jam Germany (print and web).

Plus, I am personally designing a Flash site for my clothing-company called b-tomic which will be online in a few days.

  Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?

The guys of fourm did some great stuff, and flammablejam - Hoss Gifford is a funny guy. Plus, WM Team, of course.

  What effect on traffic do your new designs have?

After winning Flash Forward 2001 in New York we had traffic of about 60 gb per month... thankfully it’s a bit less now because the server-costs were getting pretty high.

  Who is your target audience?

As an agency our target audience is, of course, potential customers who need a design that rocks. We are always looking for projects where we can spread information in an entertaining way.

  What area of web design lacks the most?

I think advertising in general is pretty boring. Companies should add some pepper to their communication. Design could be more entertaining and unusual.

  What did your very first site look like?

To be honest: I don’t know anymore... I guess it was ugly from today’s point of view.

  Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?

No, I haven’t yet! But I would like to give my experiences to a greater audience. If anyone has an interesting project or event - let me know!

  What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it?

I think the new b-tomic site was pretty hard because I had to do everything by myself within 2 weeks. I am still working on it at night to be ready for Flash Forward 2002 (should be completed when you read this...)

  Do you think Flash is here to stay?

Sure! I hope the guys from Macromedia get some more intelligent music-tools, like realtime soundforming and quicktime implementation done in the future...

  How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?

I am always receiving a few emails per week asking for advice. I always say: read a good actionscript book, get some tutorials and rip them apart until you understand what’s going on. Plus, do your own project - you learn the most with a concrete project.

  What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?

As a designer I may wear what I like - even in a presentation. I have the permission to be an official freak.

  Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

One of my tattoos says: "life is great". It’s an "every day reminder" not to take everything too serious.

  It’s been a privilege, Rainer, thanks very much.

Thanks a lot!


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