Web International Awards

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JUL 2006 0

We bring you The Consult !

Who are you and what do you do? Tell us something about yourself.

I'm Alex Atkinson, Creative Director of UK based graphic design agency The Consult and I think it's safe to say I live, breathe and eat design.

What designs do you like the most and why? Describe your design style.

My style is clean. I don't like fuss in design unless it enhances the message.

Of your favorite hobbies, which one has a chance of eclipsing your web design career and why?

Football! I'm obsessed!

What is your specialization (Flash / XHTML / PHP etc)? Why have you chosen this particular domain.

We try not to specialize as we're scared of pigeon holes! We're big champions of not using Flash for the sake of it though. For me, there is nothing worse than an elaborate bit of animation for no reason.

Don`t you think flash is disadvantaged because in most cases it requires high speed internet?

I like Flash sites. If everyone had access to the player and broadband I think we'd be experiencing a different kind of web, but yes, it can be a bit of a pain for the average user and is annoyingly banded around as a buzz word by clients who want to exploit the latest craze.

What is more crucial in design - professional look or usability?

I think you can't separate them.

What are the three things any web designer (freelancer) should know?

  • 1. Listen. Especially to the client's needs, not just what they think they want.
  • 2. Learn Constantly! There is always room for improvement.
  • 3. There is no such thing as a bad idea. Ideas, even the not so good ones, can lead to great things. We like happy mistakes.

What sort of attention has your online portfolio brought you? Would you say it's profitable to have one if you're a web designer?

Online folios are a must for any type of designer. They are a snapshot of your style, calibre and are a valuable sales tool that's there even when you're not. Our's has opened doors that would have been closed had we tried a cold call or mail drop.

What is your favorite software? What would be the ideal web graphic design software? What software couldn't you live without?

I used to really love Quark 4. Then it all went down hill. I think Illustrator is my top choice but the whole Adobe CS range is great. I also love OS X with the widgets. What did we do before them?

Where do you see the development of your business? Any future projects in mind?

We're working with a range of clients and will continue to do so. We find our experience from one sector translates well into others and can offer up valuable insights. We'll never be an agency that just does design for financial sector or just PLCs. We like the variety that comes with working with a broad range of clients. In the coming months we'll be doing lots of branding and identity work, as well as some interesting web work and printed literature.

What was the most challenging project you had to work on? Why?

A prospectus for an art and design college over 200 staff, most of them practitioners in art or design fields. Try satisfying them all! Not easy, but the end results were great and very well received.

What do you think about web 2.0?

Great if it's more than just a glassy effect logo.

Do you have any information or career advice to offer to our reading audience?

Focus on what you excel in. Look for the best bits in a project, as there is no such thing as a bad one.

Thank you for your time. It was a great pleasure to talk to you. This was Alex Atkinson, Creative Director of UK based graphic design agency The Consult.

Published on Friday, July 28th, 2006 at 1:42 am in 2006.

About Bogdan Pop

Bogdan Pop is a young Romanian entrepreneur who runs WebRaptor. He is a web developer with awesome design skills, who enjoys writing about everyday's work and usability. He relaxes by taking photos every once in a while and by mixing french electronic music. Connect with him via Twitter.

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