Pixars Brave

Good Flash Design

You seem to have covered a wide range of media and applications, what do you find has the most scope?
As a medium it's definitely the web...simply because it can handle anything and is a true free global broadcast medium, for media it's probably Flash again because of it's ability to do almost anything, though Final Cut is my application of choice these days.

What is the biggest challenge you have encountered so far?
I think it's keeping up. keeping up with new technologies, new techniques, and continuing to grow as a designer. One of the hardest things for me these days is the early stages of any project, because I've done this for so long now that I know what is ahead of me at the start of a gig...many revs of mediocre work, the back and forth between the client and I, going home at the end of a day feeling hopeless because I haven't hit the design yet...then finally, through all of that, locking down a decent design. I never go into a job and just nail it first couple of comps...it's always a long process...and one I can't help but take personally simply because what I do is so much a part of my self-esteem. So maybe that's the most challenging thing.

What have been your most enjoyable projects?
I've had a great time recently with Fox Searchlight...great creative client and really good collaborative experience. I've also enjoyed moving more into video...the work I've done with the band Girls Against boys has been rewarding.

Did you ever think that Flash would take off in the way it has? Is this a good or a bad thing?
It's great. What's not to like? I know the big complaint is that there's a lot of "bad" flash design...but that can be said about any type of design. Flash took off fast because it's a great product.

Where do you see the future of Flash and the web going?
I have no idea...seriously...I learned a long time ago not to answer these questions because you're always wrong...that said, I can't help but say interactive video.

What/who are your sources of inspiration?
They're so varied really...I'm pretty into Tupac right now, and then there's the subversive thrillers of the mid-seventies; "Three days of the condor", "Network", "Marathon Man"... which are so great to watch especially now because they were the "blockbusters" of the time and they dealt with exposing the underbelly of our political and social systems. And I've gotten back into the work of designer Neville Brody recently.

What other programs are you avidly interested in besides Flash?
The Apple video tools; FCP, Shake, DVDstudio pro and any tool that deals with compression of video for the web.

If there is something about Flash you could change, what would it be?
I would have it come with an ActionScript programmer robot... that also made coffee.

To what extent has the downturn in technology spending affected designers such as yourself?
I work harder for less money and have to hustle a bit more to land the jobs. I have also taken on smaller jobs than I'm used to...but companies still have to get their messages out and many are actually turning away from traditional media and investigating the new media...so it's not all a bad thing.

If you were given the chance to meet one person, past or present, who would it be and why?
My maternal grandfather...I'm named after him.


Thanks to Hillman Curtis (hillmancurtis.com) for agreeing to answer the questions the moderators and I had for him. Thanks to the moderators kitiara, jubba, lostinbeta, and the rest who helped provide the questions for this interview.

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