.

What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

Don't do drugs, don't eat meat, never been to design school... but still living. ;-)

Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

Klaus Grotz (31), based in Stuttgart, Germany. Head of Design & Flash Development at 21TORR AGENCY.

I have been working almost 10 years in the field of graphic design and flash development and participated in many award winning multimedia and online projects for clients like Mercedes-Benz, Rolf Benz, Marc Cain, s.Oliver, Siemens Mobile or HP.

I started in 1998 as graphic designer in a small advertising agency. Then joined 21TORR AGENCY as flash developer and graphic designer in 2001. Two years later I had a short intermezzo as art director and flash developer at Netzgiganten GmbH.

In summer 2004 I returned to 21TORR AGENCY to continue as an art director. Since 2007 I manage our design & flash unit.

What do you do for inspiration?

Let my mind wander while driving in my car and listening to good music... or just reading books & magazines, watching movies, surfing the web and travelling around.

Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

last.fm, emusic.com, thefwa.com

What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

Don’t do drugs, don’t eat meat, never been to design school... but still living. ;-)

What software could you not live without?

Mac OS X, iTunes, Safari, Photoshop, Flash

What projects do you have in the pipeline?

We are currently working on several projects, e.g. a social network platform for travelling, an online magazine for a German consulting company, a website for a well known luxury kitchen company.

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

Group94, North Kingdom, Neue Digitale

What effect on traffic do your new designs have?

To give you an example, shortly after launching our new brand website for Marc Cain (S.O.T.D. 22.08.2006) the traffic has increased more than 1500% and is still rising.

Who is your target audience?

It depends on what project we’re working on.

What area of web design lacks the most?

Usability.

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

The first flash website I ever created was an online portfolio for my graphical work. It has that typical style of 1999/2000 flash websites. And yes, it is still available: http://archive.dev-lab.net/keyvisual/

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

Nope.

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

A literary art CD-ROM called »per:verse sind uberall« in 2000. I spent several hundred hours of spare time (in just a few months) on designing and coding the project. It pushed my flash skills to unexpected levels.

Do you think Flash is here to stay?

Sure!?

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

Absolutely! I myself took the way of self-education. I started ten years ago and I am still in work.

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

Working hard, playing around, sleeping less, reading a lot... having fun.

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

A LED flashlight.

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

Yes, indeed! Most of the time I wear Carhartt jackets.

Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

The internet is overrated. ;-)

It has been a privilege, thanks very much.

Thank you! Keep up your great work.


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