I can hardly use flash and we had to teach a course at Stanford. That was stressful.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
My name is Toke Nygaard – I work as a creative director at our little gemstone of a design company; Cuban Council – a bi-costal endeavor.
What do you do for inspiration?
Keep a sketchbook handy, watch The Apprentice, keep my eyes open.
My wife provides tons of inspiration also. She is full of ideas.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
eh. Kottke.org. I think that’s all I can think of right now.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
Opening a successful, debt-free web design outfit in San Francisco straight after the Dot Com Bomb had dropped, wiping out the entire Bay Area.
What software couldn't you live without?
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?
I don’t know, really. Interactive Salary Man crack me up.
What effect on traffic do your new designs have?
Depends on the project. The tendency is, that the sites we redesign get easier to use, more exciting to look at and feel more solid, and therefore the traffic tends to escalate.
Who is your target audience?
Depending on the projects. Everything from frustrated lonely housewives to nipplepierced vampires, to spotty teens, to sweaty ad agency art directors, to punk rocker kids, to German sound engineers, to tasteless bachelors, to Canadians.
What area of web design lacks the most?
Lacks the most what?
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
It was called Most Famous Writer and was a site for my friend Soren Damm. 1998. It is still up! Won’t give you the link though. Hehe
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
Nope. Our work has been featured in 30+ books, but we never wrote one ourselves.
My very good friend Patrick Sundqvist wrote one and he said it was a pain in the ass, so I never pursued that.
What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash?
Teaching it! I can hardly use flash and we had to teach a course at Stanford. That was stressful.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
I guess any technology can be replaced by some other type of technology. So yes and no.
What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?
I did both; dropped out after 2.5 years from The Danish College of Design.
Back then the so-called interactive courses sucked plain ass. I really had some crappy years there and left because I had to teach myself anyway, and I got a real job with real challenges.
A school environment is good for many things though – you get around doing all sorts of stuff you would never do on your own (and often a chance to find people to work with).
I can’t say I regretted going to school, but I never got a diploma, so the paper part of it has never mattered at all. It is all about the portfolio.
We would never hire someone because he/she went to some fancy school – all we need to see is a tasty portfolio.
When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?
Having done K10k.net. Without that we’d be in so much trouble.
How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?
I just sat down and taught myself. Sometimes I read some mags where I find little shortcuts and things I didn’t know about. I share tricks with Michael Schmidt, my buddy at Cuban Council.
What is the most expensive thing you've bought in the last week?
Ah – a core Xbox360 that I had to pimp out myself.
What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?
I would say I am picky with my clothes, but I’d have to check the labels before I can tell you what brand I am wearing. I don’t remember.
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
Project Runway season 2 is awesome. Check it out. I thought Santino would win but now I am not so sure.
It's been a privilege, Toke, thanks very much.