.

Treat people with respect. Do good work. Get good clients.

Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

I am the Associate Creative Director at Firstborn in NYC. Previously I was the CD at FL2.

What do you do for inspiration?

I travel. I eat.

Seeing other cultures – the architecture, the design, the food, and everything else that makes us humans. Human, is awesome.

I also, not surprisingly, spend a lot of time on the Internet. From a strict interactive design standpoint, I find inspiration through traditional print design. I love looking at Contemporary poster design rooted in the Minimalist/Modernist forms of the International Style.

Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

In no particular order:

www.SpaceCollective.com – for its redefining and beautiful UI, plus its inspirational content. The typography on the site is pretty flawless.

www.AisleOne.net – Antonio Carusone has done a fantastic job curating and driving Modern design on the web. He’s the reason the grid is “cool” – something that has been cool in the print world since the 1930’s.

www.Boston.com/bigpicture/ – Simply because it’s such a powerful way to tell a story. The design/layout sucks, sure. But it works. I would love to be able to redesign it – it wouldn’t need much.

What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

Working at Firstborn – seriously. I’ve always wanted to work here, and to work with a team like this is extraordinary.

What software could you not live without?

Illustrator, Photoshop, DestroyTwitter, Firefox and (more and more) Keynote

What projects do you have in the pipeline?

We’re working on something pretty exciting right now – I can’t talk to you about it though ;-) But, more than the project itself, is the process we’re developing. It’s a redefinition of an old model – the old way of doing things – that I’m most excited about.

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

Not counting Firstborn and again, in no particular order: Group94, Area 17, Odopod

What effect on traffic do your new designs have?

There are so many things that drive traffic in digital. It is, however, very exciting to see a design take off on its own. When the design/layout and interaction is the portion that spawns the viral.

Who is your target audience?

It depends on the brand/clients needs, but for my own stuff: designers who like Modern/Contemporary design and the reinterpretation of those principles to digital. To try and coin a term: Neue-Modernism.

What area of web design lacks the most?

An understanding of where design came from. This inevitably leads to the picking and choosing of styles based on nothing more than: “I think that looks pretty.” This mutates into the matter of riding trends – which is exponential.

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

It looked terrible. I’ve purged it from memory (except the part about it being terrible).

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

I would love to. I’ll start with some essays though. An entire book sounds pretty hard.

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

I don’t know about the toughest thing. But the smartest thing I ever did was realize that there are others better at Flash than I – so let them do it.

Developers are your best friends.

Do you think Flash is here to stay?

Yes. But AJAX and JQuery are radical and shouldn’t be overlooked.

I’m more concerned with the lack of pixels as screens get smaller and smaller. Good design needs space.

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 never went to design school. I’m self taught it the fields of design and code – so, no I don’t think you need formal Design school training.

By not having had access to formal design training I find myself more appreciative of Graphic Design history. I’d venture to say the majority of web designers are unaware that there is a history to begin with. There seems to be this shunning of the past and certainly of print, like there is no relevance to what we do online. Those people are wrong.

I’m digressing, back to schooling. We only learn when we want to learn – when we’re genuinely interested. When kids are told to read a bunch of essays like “Modernism and Its Malcontents” (as part of a curriculum), those essays lose their impact; because its homework – no one likes homework.

Maybe it’s just that school is taught wrong.

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

Treat people with respect. Do good work. Get good clients.

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

Understand the grid. Then you can break it.

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

Dinner at WD-50…totally overrated.

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

UNIQLO – because I love their interactive work.

Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

Crack is Wack kids: http://www.tweetphoto.com/e3631c


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