Web International Awards

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23

JAN 2007 0

Back to back: Alessandro Benini vs Valerio Pianella from Inspiration Multimedia

Webia: Who are you and what do you do? Tell us something about yourself.
Valerio: We are a team. I deal with the development area, programming and SEO since 1995; Alessandro Benini brings in the team his experience in web design.
Alessandro: I'm a multimedia designer and I "create" communication and design for editorial products, web and generally multimedia products. I've been working in this field for 12 years and I come from a traditional graphic school, where first of all, even before creativity, we have been taught to cope with problems and rules dictated from a past that too often is forgotten, expecially in Italy. I was a teacher in webdesigner's courses, where students found themselves unaware of essential graphic grounds; they coped with different softwares' problems almost without looking on the most general and elaborate theory that is actually the base of creation. Apart from the software used, there are rules you must know and lay on, as color theory and the correct use of lineup. Once you have learnt those basic rules, you can give vent to your creativity.

Webia: What designs do you like the most and why? Describe your design style.
Alessandro: Alessandro Benini:Generally I like simple design but well-groomed and sought. Every style has itself a particular appeal, if it follows every rule. Mostly, I try to differentiate the graphics depending on the typology of customer, always preserving a "clean" and essential style.

Webia: Of your favorite hobbies, which one has a chance of eclipsing your career and why?
Alessandro: Hobbies are a privilege of whom has got time. I dedicate most of my life to work and to satisfy my clients. Maybe one day, when l'll make my activity work at high levels, l will be able to devote more time to me and to my greatest passion: traveling.
Valerio: Poetry, because in it everything has to be reduced to essential, even so it has to sound well. Furthermore words have intrinsicly something magic and suggestive: in web development linearity and project logic blend perfectly with design in an alchemy that brings itself something magic.

Webia: What is your specialization (Flash / XHTML / PHP / Graphic Design etc)? Why have you chosen this particular domain?
Valerio: PHP and database, and more generally every machine language that make me realize the product I want in the best way. Lately I've been developing following web 2.0: ajax e xml.
Alessandro: In my office I take care of communication and design but unfortunately I have to cope with requirements I hope I could delegate to others. A web designer have to know all the technologies used by his team . I must say my specialty is to "create" graphic layout.

Webia: What is more crucial in design - professional look or usability?
Valerio: Both, of course. Be disposed to aesthetic you find yourself without a web site, but with a beautiful statue buried in the garden! On the contrary, a web site devoid of aesthetic gives a featureless image of whom realised and ordered it.
Alessandro: The answer goes without saying: balance. Design is vital not only to create "beauty" but above all to communicate. Colors and shapes permit to emphasize the web site's most important parts. I deem a well done design is the first sort of web marketing. The graphic impact is essential to draw the navigator's attention. The practical skill comes consequentially if you followed all the rules.

Webia: What are the three things any web designer / developer should know?
Alessandro: The most important is surely the theory at the base of graphic (color theory, lineup rules, objects size's administration); and then communication rules and a excellent knowledge of the software used.
Valerio: If you work with quality and passion, there aren't any other things you must know.

Webia: 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?
Valerio: We always show our portfolio to the clients, so they could figure out immediately if they like our style and they can be aware of the quality of our work.
Alessandro: I would say a positive feedback, although unfortunately they mostly reach big brand names than quality.

Webia: What is your favorite software? What would be the ideal web graphic design software? What software couldn't you live without?
Alessandro: I would say the software I can't give up to is surely Adobe Fireworks: capabilities are very high and it consents to the designer to work in vector (and so to have the full control on shapes) and to convert successively images and the layout in bitmap. I think Fireworks should be at the base of every template e I keenly hope in an on-going development and investment from Adobe.
Valerio: HTML-Kit and in general all those softwares that make the developers have the total control of processes, easing the chore.

Webia: Where do you see the development of your business? Any future projects in mind?
Valerio: Business is bringing us to a complete management of the client, the design, the web marketing e the development till an integrate communication of the whole company. In particular web marketing and the alternative marketing are getting always more importance among the services we offer to our customers.
Alessandro: Surely in offering quality, skill and above all an on-going support to the client. The customer has to be pampered in every situation, he has to feel important and always followed but he has also to understand that professionalism and the constant devotion have a price, and it has to be included in the budget.

Webia: What do you think about web 2.0?
Alessandro: Web 2.0? l've been waiting for it for ages, at last a designer can freely express himself without be forced to use Flash that is not well indexed. Through web 2.0 is possible to achieve excellent results keeping a web site indexed and usable.
Valerio: all the best. The development of shared applications and all web 2.0 have been the natural consequence of wideband's diffusion and of a more aware internet use. We invest a lot in formation and updating to develop according to the latest standards. Web 2.0 it's a challenge. We can't keep a straight face to it, if we would like to give quality and professionalism to our clients.

Webia: What is the first graphic software you ever used?
Alessandro: Aldus Freehand then became Macromedia, to create illustrations for school books.

Webia: How did your very first project look like?
Alessandro: If I must evaluate it with current competences I would say it was tin-pot. It's logical, today I see things as a professional; 12 years ago I couldn't have the adulthood to arrange and to pattern a product in total autonomy.
Valerio: Terrible! Incoherent, excessively flowery: I had as soon as begun to work!

Webia: Do you have any information or career advice to offer to our reading audience?
Alessandro: I could give an advice to young designers: purchase editorial design's books and learn well the rules; the software knowledge comes afterwards. As usual, before theory then practice.

This was a back to back interview with Alessandro Benini and Valerio Pianella from Inspiration Multimedia. Thank you both for your time!

Published on Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007 at 12:53 pm in 2007.

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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