I also find a ton of inspiration studying how the rides of Disneyland were conceived, built and operate. Also, Japanese product design. I love the colors, characters and shapes.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
My name is Jason Zada and I am the Creative Director and co-founder of EVB, a San Francisco based advertising and design studio.
"His work has been featured in Communication Arts' Interactive Design Annual, Print Magazine's Interactive Design Annual and he has received A.V. Multimedia Magazine's Top 100 Media Producer Award for 1998 and 2000.
Most recently, Jason was nominated in two categories in the SXSW Interactive Awards and will be featured in several upcoming design and motion graphic books. Prior to evolution | bureau, Jason was the founder and creative director of spyplane, a San Francisco based creative design studio, which merged into ZEFER in May of 1999.
Jason has worked with numerous clients including Sony , Adidas, Goodyear, Old Spice, Sunny Delight, Winterfresh, Paramount Pictures, Showtime, Novell and Sega. He, also, got to work on the Godfather DVD Trilogy with American Zoetrope."
What do you do for inspiration?
I usually try to pursue personal projects. Recently I have found a lot of inspiration in doing short timed, creative DV projects. The result has turned into a labor of love called WeeklYDV.com . I also find a ton of inspiration studying how the rides of Disneyland were conceived, built and operate. Also, Japanese product design. I love the colors, characters and shapes.
What software couldn't you live without?
Flash seems like the obvious and expected answer. Believe it or not, Final Cut Pro is one I couldn't live without though. I think that this has got to be one of the best technical achievements for modern computing. You can take any piece of media, drag it in, manipulate it, and output into any format. You can't beat that.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
Starting the evolution bureau with Daniel Stein. We started up in November of 2000, in a really crappy economy. San Francisco was going through a lot of changes as the "gold rush" era was ushering quite a lot of people out of the business. Building a studio in a down economy, hiring some amazing, passionate people and building a really great client list.
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
The biggest and most challenging is the Winterfresh Network for Wrigley's. This project is a pure Flash MX, video + audio site filled with interactivity and fun. I think we are using some techniques and principals that we haven't seen done before. We, also, just completed EagleF1.com for Goodyear, working with Goodby, Silverstein and Partners.
Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?
What effect on traffic do your new designs have?
Well, working with big brands is great because they already have a great deal of traffic being driven to them since they are established.
Launching micro sites or newly sub-branded sites are fun since we can really do stuff that breaks the traditional mold. But the simple answer is yes, from what we have seen our work has increased traffic.
Who is your target audience?
That really depends on the project. As a studio we work on a variety of projects, clients, media, etc. One moment we are designing a site for 35+ year old car enthusiasts, and the next minute we are designing sites for 13-18 year old teenagers. Our site is geared towards everyone and anyone. We have links to side projects we do as well as all of our client work.
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
Although not the first, it is the only thing left online. Found through the Way Back Machine, here is the 1996 version of Manipulation.com
It's pretty funny to look at now, 6 years later. I think it shows my vision of always making things fun and experimental.
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
I have contributed to a few books, been in books and actually have been working on a book for about two years now. The hard part is finding the time.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
Oh yeah. Once people got a taste of television, its acceptance grew like wild fire. Then color television came along and the landscape again was changed. People got used to color and had to migrate to a color picture. I think Flash is a natural evolution on the internet. We as designers now have to deal with motion, sound, and storytelling. It's great. I love it.
What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash?
There are a lot of tough things I have gotten the chance to Creative Direct in Flash, such as the Winterfresh Network website, which I think are much more interesting. I am much more of a visual person than a coder, although my mind always tries to trouble shoot things and I can talk the talk. I have had the pleasure of working with some amazing people who have helped bring things to life. My photo series on my personal site, www.JasonZada.com were always a lot of fun to do.
Can you offer any advice for newbies?
The only thing I would tell anyone who is starting out in Flash would be to look for inspiration in broadcast design versus Flash web sites. I think a lot of Flash designers have a very "flashy" style that makes everything look the same. Vectorized, flickery, flying things. Everything we are doing in Flash right now is starting to look a lot more like broadcast then Flash.
What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?
I have a great jean jacket with a Commodore 64 logo on the back of it. It has been retired, so I now wear a black Kenneth Cole Leather coat or any of the other various ones. All of them are black. I know, so "designy" and German.
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
Well, I didn't do two things my parents wanted me to; go to college and eat my vegetables. So I don't know what that means, but I thought I would share.
The secret to Karate lies in the heart and the mind. Not in the hands.
It's been a privilege, Jason, thank you!
The pleasure is all mine. Keep up the amazing work.