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What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?

It was like Homer Simpson's web site when he was Mr. X. on that one episode. Full of ugly noisy animated gif's that I stole off the Internet and made my own.

  Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

Eric Vardon - VELOCITY STUDIO

Vardon leads the Interactive Media department at Velocity Studio, is the founding member of The Horus Project and creator of Pure Resolution. Eric also originated Maple, an online Canadian content design magazine dedicated to highlighting excellence in all fields of Canadian design.

With over 5 years experience online and off, Eric specializes in Rich Media development, integrating his extensive knowledge of graphic, motion and multimedia design to enhance his abilities.

  What do you do for inspiration?

I do anything and everything when I am not at my computer, it gives me time to think and view what surrounds me. I play all types of sports and read mostly design magazines and books of all kinds. Everything from Fashion and interior design books to Architecture and nature magazines. We are fortunate to be surrounded by so many of these types of mediums I find them all inspiring.

  What software couldn't you live without?

Photoshop. The reason I began Graphic and Multimedia Design and the core of any designer's end result.

  Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

When I do get time to view any sites it's mostly the design portals, www.NewsToday.com, www.Surfstation.lu and, of course, www.allMaple.com. That way I can keep up-to-date with what is going on in the community and see what topics and technology people are talking about.

  What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?

It was like Homer Simpson's web site when he was Mr. X. on that one episode. Full of ugly noisy animated gif's that I stole off the Internet and made my own.

I do have it but it is in the volt on a 5.1/2" floppy.....hehe

  What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

My biggest achievement would have to be working for Velocity. Being in business for myself along with my good friends Marco Di Carlo and Shane Stuart, is something from the start that I always wanted to do. Being in control of what clients are seeking, how those relationships are started and keeping them interesting and new works coming in is a designer's dream.

  Who is your target audience?

At Velocity I would mainly say we target or get targeted by people that can benefit from our style of design. Movie Industry, Record Labels, Sports area, Club and DJ types are generally what we work on. We are starting to wear another hat getting into a lot of corporate companies that want to take advantage of what we can offer giving them a youthful edge in the market.

It's the people that call us up from something other than our target and say, "you are exactly what I have been looking for" that makes us happy. When they know what they are looking for and can only find it from us we know that we are doing something right. It also gives us different avenues to target that we may not have thought of before.

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

Well there are so many amazing firms around that have such talented people working for them. I would have to say ATTIK, Tomato and WWFT. A true inspiration for any design, these are the people who are setting the trends and who are creating works that are unique. They are like us in the fact that they create with drive and passion for what they do, producing results that not only achieve but inspire.

  What area of web design lacks the most?

I would say trends. So many sites look the same. I wish they would all try to seek out agencies like ours to help them find something new. There are so many agencies with so much talent that is going to waste. Let us do what we are trained to do and in the end you will be happy. Remembering that it's not what you want but what your user wants.

  Do you think Flash is here to stay?

That is a tuff question but yes...With MX really taking it one step further I think Flash will be the tool used to deliver content to most Wireless devices. Not to mention the steady growth of use on the web Flash is being brought to anyone and everyone with an internet connection. People say that there are other programs and "when broadband hits it will be obsolete," but realistically we aren't going to wake up one day and everyone will magically have broadband. It took so long to get the average speed up to 56k and it will take some time for the world to have a broadband connection. That being said we will always want the internet to be faster and there is no better tool than Flash.

Macromedia should be paying me for this? Are you there?

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

I actually have written a Chapter but in the end it didn't work out....I am involved with Friends Of Ed, helping them out when I can and maybe I will take another crack at it down the road...

As for design books there are quite a few that you can find more info about at our web site.

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

The toughest thing again would be the Velocity Site. We spent a lot of money and a crazy amount of time making that site come together. From Marcos' Art Direction and Shane and my own Flash ideas, to having handpicked and designed the clothing for each of the models we used, their hairstyle and make-up to the photo-shoot with David Raposo Photography.

We went to great lengths choosing the appropriate shots that we wanted to incorporate into our designs and from there began to create. We knew we wanted to always keep the ideology of Velocity in the back of our heads so that was a main focus on what we wanted to convey.

Speed, motion, time, space, and depth were some of the key words we had to play with. So when you go through the site everything that is there is in place and has its own responsibility on that page. We do this with every project that comes in and, frankly, sometimes people can't believe the lengths we take to make every project come together...

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

I would say if you are going to learn Flash the best place to do so is on the Internet. Spend all your time downloading free flas and really trying to muck around with the code. Have Colin Moock's Action scripting book beside you and after reading through it and playing with the code you will see how and why things are done the way they are.

That being said there are two types of people out there. Flash Programmers and Flash Designers. It's hard to find someone that can do both and do them both very well. So make sure you know what road to take and remember to learn the basics of flash as they can always come in handy. Sometimes the easiest tweening motion will work better than 2 pages of code.

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

I like some labels. Quicksilver, Abercrombie that kind of thing. What ever is comfortable and catches my eye. I love my clothes and really don't care who makes it, if it feels right I will buy it and if the logo says baby Gap then so be it....

  Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

Go Leafs Go!


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