...the web is becoming less about design and more about ideas and concepts. No amount of design will make a bad idea better.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
Dre Labre has been working for money in the ‘new media’ space since 1995 but has been cultivating a passionate love affair of all things computer related since the days when Q*bert roamed, and ruled, the Earth.
Labre lived, worked and (most importantly) survived through the Web 1.0, a time when most other people couldn’t see it for what it was: the beta version of much greater things to come.
During this tumultuous period he rolled up his virtual sleeves and furrowed his brow for agencies MacLaren McCann and Blast Radius.
In 2004, Dre received a new business card from Tribal DDB, Toronto where his passion for great ideas and enthusiasm for digital marketing continues to shine through.
Thus, in August 2006, he was appointed Creative Director of the Toronto office much to the delight of his Mom.
What do you do for inspiration?
Play music is a band called The Darned
Sketch, take pictures, listen to lectures by Alan Watts, cook.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
GigPosters.com - for the endless amount of visual goodness.
Del.icio.us - cuz I'm only as smart as my friends' bookmarks.
etsy.com - good place to get handmade gifts for friends with some nice nav features
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
My biggest professional achievement was winning the first ever Gold award in interactive at Canada's Marketing Awards in '99 for my first project as an Art Director.
What software couldn't you live without?
The Flock web browser.
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
We just launched ImprezaEnvy.com for Subaru in Canada. We're also currently working on an exciting assignment for Jagermeister. The rest of the pipeline is full of super-secret stuff.
Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?
There are too many talented firms and individuals to simply narrow down to three top players.
Besides, the web is becoming less about design and more about ideas and concepts. No amount of design will make a bad idea better.
What effect on traffic do your new designs have?
The design doesn't have an effect on traffic. The ideas that resonate with the audience is what motivates people to come visit.
Who is your target audience?
That depends on what project we're working on.
What area of web design lacks the most?
Web design is lacking in non-web thinking. As much as I love my web browser and visual aesthetics, I also love not relying on a traditional computer to get to my information.
Mobiles and handhelds are becoming more pervasive and the information is slowly becoming more ubiquitous.
Sometimes design is too single-mindedly hinging on just one platform. Real interaction design is a blend of visual and technical with an eye on adaptability.
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
My very first site looked pretty good compared to what else was out there at the time. Having started my career in 3D I was doing animated beveled buttons in 1995. I'm sure its somewhere on the wayback machine.
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
I haven't written any books, however self-publishing sites like lulu.com make it very tempting to do so.
What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it? Is it still online?
I personally haven't touched flash in almost 10 years, but I've worked with some of the finest coders and tweeners this industry has to offer.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
I don't think flash is going away anytime soon. Like any piece of technology, it will evolve, it may devolve, but I don't think it will be a key platform in how information will distributed in the 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 managed to do okay without any formal schooling, however, my first creative director taught me what many schools these days don't teach.
Figure it out in your head and on paper before you even think of touching the computer.
How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?
Design isn't something that happens at a computer, it's something that goes on in your head – all the time.
What is the most expensive thing you've bought in the last week?
What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?
Matrix-style PVC trenchcoat does the trick for me.
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
All of my pearls of wisdom are recycled from much wiser people, but if you want a few quotes to live by …
- Chance favours the prepared mind.
- Accuracy through volume.
Those are two of my favorites.
It's been a privilege, thanks very much.
That's technically not a question ... but you're welcome.