I have seen many successful designers excel in their industry without a proper education. A school certificate marks the level of knowledge you have obtained, but it should not limit what you can achieve out of school.

Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

Hi, my name is Francis Tan, Singaporean and proud of it. I am currently working at Kinetic Interactive as a Junior Art Director.

I was actively freelancing after graduating from communication design in 2003 and had the pleasure to work with some very outstanding clients since.

I like very minimal design with the most basic shapes and forms; I believe good design shouldn’t be too complex.

What do you do for inspiration?

Fashion has been very inspirational for me. There is always something exciting to look forward to every season. It is constantly evolving and when it reaches its limit, it makes an utter shocking U-turn. Like design in all aspects I believe.

Please list 3 of your favourite sites.




What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

I think it would be my personal site. It was my first step to picking up web-design and coding when I was in school. After all the years of evolving, it just keeps inspiring me to try harder.

What software couldn't you live without?


What projects do you have in the pipeline?

I am currently working on the revamp of Singapore’s infamous dance-club Zouk. It is a super club which defines the nation’s dance scene and very well received around the world.

The site is fully CMS enabled so there are rules to follow, you can’t play God in this case.

Being a DJ for the 10th year and growing up with the club since college days, it means a lot to be able to do something like this.

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

Attik – Their style has always been very impressive and kudos for pushing the smaller font size!

Kinetic Singapore – Not because I’m working there, but for putting Singapore’s design on the world map. I knew I had to work there someday.

Group 94 – For making complexity look simple.

What effect on traffic do your new designs have?

Massive. We have people emailing us from all over the world telling us they like the stuff we put out, which is really encouraging.

Who is your target audience?

I guess anyone who appreciates interactivity and will spend some time indulging in it.

What area of web design lacks the most?

Concept, but things are certainly improving. And fast.

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

My first site would be a very simple “notepad” html site I did went I was in high school. You know, kids testing out what number code results in what color display. It went live for 30 minutes before the lecturer took it down.

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

No I have not. But I would very much like to put together a personal graphic journal. A graphic spread to represent each year gone by.

What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it? Is it still online?

Not a person who specializes in scripts/codes, I have to say that creating whatnoise? was pretty tough. Though spending a mere 2 weeks from conceptual to execution, the coding part was MASSIVE. Sean had been my "guiding light" throughout the process and the project wouldn't be where it is without his involvement and time.

Do you think Flash is here to stay?

It will stay and penetrate into more aspects of our lives like mobile phones, watches, mp3 players, cameras and what not. It is a very versatile software to be replaced in the near future.

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 would like to think that a school puts you on the right path. But going the extra mile will depend on the individual.

I have seen many successful designers excel in their industry without a proper education. A school certificate marks the level of knowledge you have obtained, but it should not limit what you can achieve out of school.

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

I can’t comment since I wasn’t involved in the start up of Kinetic.

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

Surf around, ask yourself “how did they do that”, try out on your own since the web is a virtual canvas that wouldn’t do much harm to the planet. But first, read up on the basics of design – grids, layouts, colors etc… Not to limit yourself but to understand the principles that will enable you to express more effectively.

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

I haven’t had time to shop lately. Even my Christmas gifts were late. But the last thing I bought was a perfume set, a Christmas gift.

What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?

As much as I hate to admit it, I’m quite into it.

Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

Your success is only but a mere reflection of your determination.

It's been a privilege, thanks very much.

Your soul… I mean… the privilege is mine. Keep up the awesome work ; )

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