I feel a large weakness around the web lies in many sites' inability for their content to live outside of their URL.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
My name is Jeremiah wassom and I am a motion graphic designer at AKQA in San Francisco.
When I’m away from the computer or my sketchbook, I find I’m either studying design, riding a bike, climbing a rock wall, or playing my Xbox. I tend to be extremely competitive in everything I do, so I usually gauge my hobbies around competition.
What do you do for inspiration?
I’m a motion graphic designer by trade, but originally I started off my educational career wanting to be a chemist or biologist. It helps greatly in that, when I’m faced with a creative opportunity, I begin with research.
I need to know everything I can about something before being able to translate it into the visual language. I don’t do it enough, but one of my favorite sources of inspiration is a museum.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
These are constantly changing, but currently I’m into: daytum.com, ffffound.com, and fubiz.net. I’m very visual and try to be logical, so design and UI are both very important to me.
Being in advertising, keeping a finger on the “social landscape” is a priceless tool. I almost mentioned my del.icio.us and twitter, but I view those more as tools than sites. I’d be lost without my del.icio.us.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
Professionally and creatively, I try to view every new project as bigger and better than the last one I worked on. If something falls short of that, I’m extremely disappointed. Personally, I view my time in the Marine Corps as important to me.
What software could you not live without?
Photoshop, after effects, illustrator, final cut pro, and a scanner.
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
I’m currently working on a few Nike projects: one for Nike “ignite”, a campaign built around using professional footballers (soccer players) to create a training program to better players’ skills (http://nikefootball.com) and an Asia-pacific focused project for Nike women, expanding the “be transformed” concept across additional executions (http://www.nike.com/nikeos/p/nikewomen/ko_KR/).
Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?
This one’s really hard for me as I look to different designers/companies for different types of inspiration. Visually, I respect guys like hydro74, pablo alfieri, and yasudatakahiro...
For motion I admire buck, nervo, psyop... for UI, I look to ken felton and christian behrens... I really like what the guys over at uniqlo are doing for so many different elements of design.
What effect on traffic do your new designs have?
At the end of the day, I would love if people visited sites I worked on simply to see and interact with the design. If that’s actually the case, I’m not sure.
Who is your target audience?
Hopefully, anyone who is excited by design, especially motion design. Most of the way the digital industry, and advertising, is shaped, my work tends to be aimed at a younger, technologically savvy crowd, but ultimately, good design should be for everyone.
What area of web design lacks the most?
From an initial standpoint: smart and useful UX design. But beyond that, and almost more importantly, I feel a large weakness around the web lies in many sites’ inability for their content to live outside of their URL.
If, at the end of a user’s interaction with a site on their computer, their experience, including the visual aspects of that content, spreads to other touch points, then you have a successful site.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
In this industry, I’ve seen a few attempts to invent the “flash killer”, but it’s ingrained in the collective conscious for a reason – it’s a solid program which gets better with every release and (other than the iphone) it’s used on almost every platform.
That doesn’t mean I think flash will dominate web design like a monopoly, I mean, corel draw is still around – some people swear by it. Flash does many things very well and other programs will pop up to fill the gaps where flash is lacking, but I do not see any one program currently on the market with the power to get widespread acceptance from the dev and design communities.
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 definitely believe people can be successful in the field without proper training as I believe a lot of creativity cannot be taught – it can be refined, of course, but not exclusively taught.
The biggest advantage I find in those with an educational background is they understand the references and reasons for things whereas those without tend to just think “it looks cool” without knowing why.
How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?
I can definitely speak to my after effects skills, how I’ve learned my shortcuts, layouts, techniques and I’m sure it translates to those who work in flash as well – practice.
There are absolutely no substitutes for practice, knowing your way around a program, what everything does, and then flipping all that on its head and coming at it from another angle.
What is the most expensive thing you have bought in the last week?
I bought a customized Montreal expos fiftyone50 hat I’ve been wanting for a year or so and finally found considered it an early birthday present to myself.
What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?
In motion, I try to be a jack of all trades, but my specialty lies in animation.
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
Learn something new in everything you do.
It has been a privilege, thanks very much.
No, thank you for the opportunity!