Well, today there are upcoming technologies that one cannot ignore, such as WebGL, that we’ve been using more than the Flash technology lately. Especially on this big project we’ve been working on for over a year now, that we plan to submit here within the end of the year 2012.

question Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

I am Nathalie, co-founder of (HKI)™Hellohikimori™, our design studio based in Paris. We created HKI™ with my partner David Ronhel in 2004, feeling like focusing on our creation work much more than in our previous jobs. We built out a human scale company, so we control every step of our work from the creation concept until its final delivery. We provide creative ideas, interactive storytelling experiences, mixing graphic design, motions design (3D, Flash, Html and Webgl) but we also produce, shoot and edit videos and movies. All of that for branded or artistic purposes.

We currently work mainly for Beauty, fashion and luxury brands, but also for exciting entertainment companies.

What do you do for inspiration?

The common thing to say would of course be our travels, the people we meet, the music we listen to and the experiences we live.

But we are strongly inspired by some creative references we feel close to, may it be the HBO series (and their atmosphere) we are all fond of, here at the studio, or the new technologies we keep trying out and playing with, in order to create our proper experience.

What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

We are very proud to be independent which was our biggest wish when we started HKI™. We have big names and companies as clients and they trust us, while we managed to remain a small team of passionated people, all dedicated to each project we lead.

How do you relax or unwind?

We actually have a video game space at the studio. Sometimes, between projects,  we spend a certain amount of time battling each other. Currently we are playing Trials Evolution, a  motocross game, Mortal Kombat and Tekken.

We’also are all fans of burgers, so we try out all the burger places in Paris and do our own chart of the best ones.

If you weren't working on the internet what would you be doing?

At HKI™, we all come from different places. So if we mix everything we’re individually interested in, we’d probably create furniture, be fashion designers, rockstars, and would write novels and comic books. Then we would adapt these as movies or series. But that can still be part of our forthcoming plans...

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

We love the work of Tronic for their creative vision, Troika because they have sharp skills in 3D in their work for broadcast channels. We’re also very interested in Serial Cut for their graphic design abilities.

Are there any websites that have shone through as being pioneering in the last 5 years or so?

We’ve truely been amazed by the Rome project last year by Chris Milk, with the interactive movie «3 dreams of black» using the WebGL technology.

Has winning FWA awards helped you in any way?

Of course. It gave us a strong visibility and credibility amongst the industry. And today, clients are coming to us having seen our work first on the FWA website.

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

Our very first website was for Studioline - L’Oréal Paris, and was called «Send Your Style». It was a creative platform dedicated to artists to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the brand then. And we won our very first FWA award and Adobe site of the day with this one! It’s no longer online, but you can still check out the demo here.

Have you been a part of a campaign that was rooted in digital and THEN reached over into other consumer touchpoints? Did this happen organically or was it a part of the plan from the beginning?

Yes we had this chance. In 2009, we launched Diesel Fragrance’s new male fragrance, Only The Brave. We took care of the whole digital campaign (designed the website, the banners, the microsites for the local events), but also did the videos for the launch event that took place in Berlin. It was a global 360° communications action, with offline events being relayed online thanks to the digital supports we created. The campaign was also implemented in video games on a microsoft platform, so it generated lots of buzz. We also gained lots of press and online PR fallouts. It actually was the most complete project we took part of.

The web is getting out of the web. Do you find that thinking in digital solutions alone hinders you? Do you feel the urge to solve the problem using all mediums necessary?

Yes of course. We’ve already started working with this in mind. That’s why we multiply the reaching points: indoor, outdoor, mobile apps, anywhere you can find any sort of screens.

Looking 10 years in to the future, how far can websites go?

As far as cooking eggs, maybe.

Of all the websites you/your company have produced, which one are you most proud of?

Definitely The Walking Dead for Orange Cinema Séries. We won 4 prizes for this work: 3 Promax awards (including 1 gold and 2 silver) and 1 FWA award as site of the day.

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

The one mentionned above, The Walking Dead, on which we spent about 6 months. And sure it’s still online, but without the game... But you can still see it here.

Do you think Flash is here to stay?

Well, today there are upcoming technologies that one cannot ignore, such as WebGL, that we’ve been using more than the Flash technology lately. Especially on this big project we’ve been working on for over a year now, that we plan to submit here within the end of the year 2012.

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

There’s always been talented and gifted individuals who learnt everything on their own, but still, we look a lot into what the students from Hyper Island school in Sweden do.

What would be your ultimate vehicle to travel in?

A Delorean to meet Elvis.

What country excites you the most in terms of innovation?

Well, we always look at what the US agencies do, and we more and more feel like trying to partner up with some talented ones over there. With our european and yet particular touch, we think that our spirit would totally match with the US state of mind.

There must be a project that you have always dreamed of doing, what is it?

We actually dream of writing, directing and producing a whole movie. Or a new series format, which would be interactive and exlusively online, but inspired by the iconic HBO style.

What does the future hold for your company, or you as a person?

All the best, we surely hope.

It has been a privilege, thanks very much

Our pleasure.


A video shot by Getty Images presenting the studio.

The Walking Dead game case study

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