What area of web design lacks the most?

It lacks a lot, but we're working on it, give us a few more years ;)

  Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

Born and living in Belgium. Studied Latin, mathematics, did some art school, then some marketing school. Started in a publicity and design company. Left if after a few years. Started a 1-person design company (www.daspascals.com) doing printed matter, cd and vinyl artwork and web site designs.

Decided to stick to 1 discipline and set up group94 about 3 years ago.

  Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

That really changes too often. It would be tough to come and update my answers each time... But my favourites are always Flash sites, that's for sure.

  What do you do for inspiration?

I study, I think, I examine a project, I discuss things with the client, I evaluate his target audience, I check his existing publications, etc. I try to figure out a site concept that matches to all aspects of a project and to the client's other communication.

It may sound boring, but I think that artists need inspiration. I don't consider myself as an artist.

  What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

Regarding my job: running group94 and getting all things done that are involved with running an office like ours.

  What software couldn't you live without?

The software in all the electronic devices that surround me and make my life comfortable. In my job: windows, mac-os, Macromedia Freehand, Flash, Adobe Photoshop, Explorer and (at this moment) Need For Speed.

Although I guess I could live the life of a Polynesian fisherman and do without all this soft… Never tried it. Don't intend to try it…

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

It looked like a site made for Netscape 1.1. It is still online, I just checked it, but you really don't want to see it, believe me.

  What projects do you have in the pipeline?

At this moment, my biggest project is the day-to-day running of group94…

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

I think there are a lot of design companies doing good jobs.

  What area of web design lacks the most?

It lacks a lot, but we're working on it, give us a few more years ;)

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

Unfortunately I cannot right ;)

  What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash?

My very first if-statement was extremely tough as a matter of fact. I remember I had found a tutorial on Flashkit and damn it took hours before I digged it… Since then I think our flash94 cms was one of the toughest projects.

  Do you think Flash is here to stay?

I'm not sure if it will be the software called 'flash', but I'm pretty convinced that the way of surfing which is so typical for a Flash project is here to stay. To explain what I consider as 'the way of surfing' a Flash project would be to draw a comparison in terms of navigation with another technology such as html.

The navigational element of an html site is limited to providing a user with an efficient and fast way of allocating specific information. Due to technical limitations, surfing an html site is boring and uni-dimensional. In contrast navigating a Flash site, if it's well done, can be more like taking a journey that ultimately creates an experience that portrays an idea or image.

  What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?

When I was in school it was the age when computers were those building-sized machines that were - according to rumours - owned by the CIA.

So I learned everything I know now on the field and I manage pretty well I guess... In fact no one at group94 is doing the job they studied for at school.

  When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?

I have always tried to pay a lot of attention to quality. In my experience it's easier and more pleasant to deal with a client when the work exposed is of good quality - or at least: when I think the work exposed is of good quality... I can be pretty convincing :)

  What is the most expensive thing you've bought in the last week?

Last week was very cheap actually. I think filling the gas tank of my car was my biggest expense...

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

My own analogy to what is needed for a project to be successful requires the combination of Lara & Lego. Like Lara a project should be an exploration of something new, with a unique purpose and personality. It's a challenge. As you progress and stages become complete the project's direction and purpose should become clear, when all the areas have been explored and challenges met the project becomes complete.

The Lego aspect represents structure, the requirement of a stable platform that is logical and creates project continuity, this factor allows each stage to be managed and built efficiently. I've spent hours and days and months with Lara and Lego. Love them.

  Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

Not really, sorry. Love Lara and Lego? ;)

  It's been a privilege, Pascal, thanks very much.

It's been a pleasure, thanks.


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