.

What area of web design lacks the most?

Joao: Clients with some guts!

Please give us a brief bio of yourselves.

Danka studio was created in October 2006 and is based in Lyon - France.

We are a team of 3 (the 3 founders):

Guillaume_Creative / Art Director

Greg_Creative Programmer

Joao_Producer / Project management

Average age is 30, average height is 1m88 (6.2ft).

Danka was created by 3 of us after a few years of collaboration in various local agencies.

What do you do for inspiration?

Guillaume

: Browsing main web portals (like FWA for example ;)), check out my preferred web studios and, meanwhile, continue to learn stuff through graphic design books. Discussing a lot with our clients and 3 of us all together to share ideas.

Greg

: Browsing the web, reading books, being challenged by a coding or design issue.

Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

Guillaume

: www.lequipe.fr + www.lipsum.com + www.thefwa.com

Greg

: www.k10k.net + www.wikipedia.org

Joao

: www.google.fr + www.lequipe.fr + www.olweb.fr

What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

Getting the 3 of us together and setting up Danka, a studio that looks like us and where we do stuff we like for clients who like and understand what we do. And that is not as easy as it might sound.

What software couldn't you live without?

Guillaume

: Photoshop

Greg

: Flash

Joao

: Outlook

What projects do you have in the pipeline?

A website for a French architect, one for a clothing brand and another one for a consulting company. This shows a bit of our diversity and flexibility.

We also do teamwork /pitch with a national advertising agency (Jump France) on various projects.

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

Guillaume

: www.group94.com + www.tha.jp, and many others…

Greg

: Speaking graphic design, I've been a great fan of TDR in the past, now I'm much into the work of Nathalie Pollet (designlab.be), Hort (hort.org.uk) and that sort thing. On the webdesign side, I love group94 and many others.

Joao

: www.pillandpillow.com + www.group94.com + many other small talented web studios.

What effect on traffic do your new designs have?

Intelligent design helps to drag traffic.

Who is your target audience?

As we work for various kinds of clients, we care about all kind of web-users! We believe that an ergonomic, functional and “intelligent” approach will always be adapted and understood by any kind of web users, whatever their profile.

What area of web design lacks the most?

Guillaume

: Clients who want something different.

Greg

: Immersive experiences.

Joao

: Clients with some guts!

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

Guillaume

: 7/8 years ago, an HTML website for a nightclub. Ugly! Hopefully, for my professional credibility, it’s not online anymore.

Greg

: It is very old, probably 1990 or so, my dad had one of the first internet access back then in Quebec, and I was already interested by design and html. I think it looked funny. It’s not online anymore. Before that, as a teenager I have had two BBS hosted on my PC, with a good old 2400 bps modem. It was ASCII/ANSI design. TheDraw, anyone?

Joao

: 1999: my personal photography portfolio website: bad photos in a rough and basic layout. It’s somehow lost on a server somewhere on internet now. That’s when I stopped designing websites to concentrate my work on sharing ideas and project management.

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

We’re gonna have one of our websites (www.juliebayard.fr) published in the WebIndex 2007 (or 2008 not sure) book, that’s cool!

Greg

: Might be, who knows. But probably not about webdesign or coding.

Joao

: Tall stories when I was 10.

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

Greg

: I always like to solve coding problems, but I don't know which one has been the toughest. Maybe a 3D engine I did for fun. Or that 2d "camera" class that we used partially on www.bcube.fr.

Do you think Flash is here to stay?

Guillaume

: Hmm, I would see some kind of Flash / After Effects mutant coming up.

Greg

: I hope so.

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

Guillaume

: Personally, I am a self-made designer and I would have loved to go to a (good) school to learn graphic design and typography fundamentals.

However, with time, reading and practice we can make it through! I believe having professional designers as teachers during education at school is very profitable. They have a strong background and practical experience which helps students see how it really works out there.

Greg

: There are a lot of examples out there of good designers who never went to art school. Anyway I studied Fine Arts, but since I spend most of the time coding (which I learned by myself), it's not of great use besides appreciating art.

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

Word of mouth for sure, added to our own networks. We all have 7 to 10 years experience now, and that helps a lot.

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

Guillaume

: Build up a strong graphic design culture/background (by reading, browsing, being curious…) and of course, practice, practice, practice.

Greg

: As said above, I learned by myself, mostly motivated by seeing the work of other designers or programmers. My only advice would be to take the time to clearly understand what you're about to code, in order to get it done the right way. And be very attentive to details. You know, the devil is in the details.

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

Guillaume

: a sandwich.

Greg

: Pre-ordered Essential Actionscript 3 by Colin Moock

Joao

: I paid my rent!

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

Guillaume

: Shirt + short + flip flops and a few brands.

Greg

: Plain colors and no logo.

Joao

: How you wear it is more important than what you wear.

Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

Guillaume

: The important is not the goal but the path to reach it.

Greg

: "Just drop it!" (some hippie guy)

Joao

: “Details make the difference” (someone, I suppose!)

It's been a privilege, thanks very much.

Thank you, it was a pleasure.


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