I think the first thing to point out is that I'm a complete fraud and any one who’s met me knows that I just bathe in the reflected glory of the talented people I work with.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
hmmm.. I think the first thing to point out is that I'm a complete fraud and any one whose met me knows that I just bathe in the reflected glory of the talented people I work with. The current kerb site has bits of most of the kerb crew's work on it but was mainly put together by Dylan and Sermad. With that in mind my potted history is like this:
I live in Brighton (home of Fatboy Slim) the UK's version of SF. Born in Manchester (UK) and as a kid I was really into computers and typing in pages of code in order to play bug-riddled fruit machine games on my vic-20. After that I got really into the C64 and using "paint magic" I cobbled graphics together with a coder for demos on compunet and intros for cracking crews.
At the age of 24 I was made redundant from the marketing dept at Citibank and went to uni where I got a degree in electronic media majoring in 3D animation and internet. I started up Kerb 6 years ago by doing freelance stuff and finally got to this point where I don't do much design as I'm working with people much more skilful than me.
kerb are now sharing a building with a UK techno "band" called Orbital and we are not just web-based as we've done a UK TV series, music videos, TV adverts and are just launching a t-shirt range called "wrong".
What do you do for inspiration?
I'm supposed to be more of an ideas person these days so I don't generally read through design books like I used to. Ideas come from experiencing new things and trying to find out about things that might not be directly related to the field that you are working in. It's often more effective to apply an idea that already exists in a new way than trying to come up with an original concept.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
Having a company staffed with people who are skilled enough to adapt to projects as diverse as music videos and online games but do it better than companies for whom each of those would be its only discipline.
Who is your target audience?
Owners of entertainment brands or consumer goods aimed at the youth market.
What software couldn't you live without?
Flash. We used it on our site, our online games, our TV series, bits of our music videos, our TV ads. I just used it to design the logo for our clothes range.. it's fair to say without flash we'd be fucked.
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
hmmm.. apart from the ones I've mention already we're doing a video for a UK band called "the levellers" which is being done in flash/aftereffects and we're designing a range of "pokemon" style characters for a toy company in New York.
What area of web design lacks the most?
Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
Nope and if you've actually managed to wade through this much of my interview you can probably understand why. Actually I've been asked to by the usual book companies but it's so time consuming and to be honest there are more intelligent people who are far better qualified.
What effect on traffic do your new designs have?
Since we rebuilt the site our traffic has doubled and when it gets nominated for awards obviously it spikes. One bizarre thing is when we look to see which countries it comes from as we seem to get a disproportionate amount of traffic from Holland or Spain and lots of messages that begin with "Hola" but we daren't translate since most of them seem to be about our "Madre" or mother.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
Yep. Loved it when it was futuresplash and decided that it was the way to go then. The fact that we are using it for plenty of non-web stuff means that it's still the future.
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
Absolutely fucking abysmal. Wallpaper made from a tiled background I made from some geiger pictures and a big rotating Manchester City logo that I built in 3DSmax. Is it still online? I sincerely hope not.
How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?
If you can't do it then try and employ someone who can.
What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash?
This kind of underlines my answer above. If it's complicated then I don't get involved. I'd have to bow down and ask Sermad who did the programming on the site:
He says although he's done shitloads of clever stuff including multi-user flash he still reckons that making sure the new kerb site was scalable and all the info dynamically updateable was the biggest ball ache.
What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?
Labels? hmmm.. only when it comes down to my underwear - shame really cos when I'm out flashing I tend not to wear any. Apart from that it's generally skate wear but no one brand.. Volcom, Mecca, DC shoe whatever takes my fancy and the rest is just Kerb stuff nicked from work.
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
Never exceed the stated dose and remember, no matter how much they cry, no matter how much they beg... Never, never feed them after midnight.