Don't take it too seriously, after all - it's just the Internet. We're not changing the world here. Relax, do some cool flash, grab a beer, enjoy.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
My name is Per, age 26, and I was born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden. I have lived here all my life except for a few months in Dublin.
Professionally I started doing some minor design and web work at the end of the last millennium.
After a couple of shorter internship periods at a few web and advertising agencies I was hired by the then newly started web agency Farfar. I'm not one of the founders, but I was the first one ever employed by Farfar. That was five years ago and Farfar has grown from five people to a staff of twenty-three.
What do you do for inspiration?
I'm not going to say film and music like everyone else. Basically, the web keeps me inspired. Just surfing around and seeing all the great stuff that is being created by other people keeps me motivated and makes me want to create better stuff myself.
A few years back there used to be a few countries (the US, France, UK and the whole of Scandinavia etc.) that were dominant in producing good stuff on the Internet. But nowadays the level of quality has increased significantly in other parts of the world as well as in the above mentioned areas.
Now you can find awesome creations from all over the planet from countries like Poland and Korea etc. This also keeps me motivated to do greater and cooler stuff. I don't want to be left behind.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
First stop for getting the latest on the wonderful world of online design.
So simple and so great. I'm not really sure why I like this so much, but it's been the start page in my browser for ages.
Both amazing and scary. Sometimes you actually want to forget the past, but Archive won't let you.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
Work wise it would probably be helping Farfar go from being an unknown five-people agency to what it is today. Getting recognition and appreciation from people around the world for our work is also incredibly cool.
What software couldn't you live without?
I'm pretty convinced I don't need a piece of software to live, but I have to say I'm quite fond of Flash and I use it daily. Being without Photoshop would also definitely make life harder.
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
Some more stuff for Nokia, Adidas and our Swedish clients (+ a few secret ones of course). Hopefully I'll also make something a bit more substantial of my personal playground Softish sometime soon.
Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?
There are just to many good companies out there to name only three. Furthermore, it completely depends on what area of design you are talking about; motion, web, illustration and so forth.
Some people I admire are MK12, Group94, WDDG, Stylewar, House Industries, North Kingdom, Psyop, Sweden graphics and Hi-Res to name a few.
What effect on traffic do your new designs have?
I sure hope it’s a positive effect.
Who is your target audience?
That depends completely on the client.
What area of web design lacks the most?
In my opinion, web creations and Flash sites often lack sound design. It seems like it's always the last thing you think of and then you just throw in something at the last minute before launch.
Sound design could just as well be used for setting a mood, a tone or even a method of animation in a major way instead of being something you add just to enhance those attributes.
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
I remember it vaguely. It was blue and yellow and it said: "Per's homepage" in some kind of ugly hi-tech lcd-computery type of font that I thought looked really cool at the time. I don't think it had very much content.
No, it's not online anymore, thank God. Not even on archive.org. :)
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
The thought never crossed my mind, but who knows, maybe one day...
What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it? Is it still online?
When I spent an internship at a web agency about 5-6 years ago I somehow promised the client I would make a Flash-intro for a site. At the time I didn't know the first thing about Flash.
When I finished the rest of the site, the evening before the deadline, I hadn’t even thought about the intro. So I took a deep breath, started Flash and began doing some of the included tutorials.
I sat up all night and the next morning the intro was somehow done and I was really proud of it. The feeling when I saw it finished was amazing. And no, it’s not online anymore, thankfully. I think the feeling of pride would probably fade a bit if I saw it today.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
Definitely. Since it's evolving and getting better for each new update I think it'll be around for a while. And it’s pretty hard for any competitors to get close since pretty much everyone has the Flash plug-in installed these days.
What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?
Well I did, so I guess I would have to say yes.
When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?
Contacts and a good portfolio I guess.
How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?
I just learned by working with it. Trial and error. When I started in this business I had no experience of Flash whatsoever, so pretty much everything I know about Flash I've learned by working with real clients.
The most basic advice to Flash newbies: Nothing looks good in Flash's default frame rate of 12. Use at the very least 25 frames per second.
What is the most expensive thing you've bought in the last week?
Nothing very expensive. A new pair of sneakers. I'm a sucker for sneakers and t-shirts.
What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?
Like I said, sneakers and t-shirts.
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
Don't take it too seriously, after all - it's just the Internet. We’re not changing the world here. Relax, do some cool flash, grab a beer, enjoy.
It's been a privilege, Per, thanks very much.
Thank you, it was my pleasure.