2015 DOTY S Interview - Phoenix The Creative Studio
Q1. Congratulations on winning DOTY S 2015! How does it feel to be recognized as CSSDA’s best solo/small studio in the world?
First off, we would like to thank the Academy, God and our parents for always supporting us. But MOSTLY, as proud French Canadians, we would like to thank Céline Dion; she is an incredible source of inspiration to us!
This award is quite an honor! To be honest, we never thought that this was even possible! We follow CSSDA daily and to be recognized by such a community of talented web design and development peers is beyond our wildest dreams. Except the dream where Wonder Woman was playing the hurdy-gurdy on a green alpaca - that was really wild. But seriously, this award not only gives us great visibility but rewards our team for all their efforts and hard work.
Q2. Please give our community a quick overview of Phoenix.
The studio was founded almost exactly two years ago so we're happy to celebrate our anniversary with such a prestigious award! It's nice to know we're doing something right! We started with only 3 employees: a Sales Representative, an Art Director and a Web Developer. Since then, we've hired a second Art Director and a Project Manager. Other valued members of the team are Pixel and Maya, two golden labs who brighten up our days!
Q3. If you were forced to choose one project as your favorite for 2015, which would it be and why?
Maybe it's because it was recently launched, but we really like the Lawrence Boone Selections project for which we created the logo, branding, packaging and website. We find that projects where you start from scratch are the most stimulating and rewarding. They allow us to oversee every aspect of the brand, making it coherent and beautiful from beginning to end.
We're particularly proud that the web portion of the project won Website of the Day on CSSDA! And by the way Lawrence, we're still waiting for our free wine barrels as payment! ;)
Q4. Producing award winning work consistently is not an easy task, so what is the secret of your success?
Big or small, we approach every project with the desire to create something that will stand out. It's easy (and tempting) to follow trends, especially with how easily accessible everything is nowadays. The gamble in going all-out all the time is that you don't have a formula to follow. But the risk is well worth the reward.
We think being a small, tight-knit team is part of our success. Everyone's input is important and immediate which, ultimately, gives us great results (so far!).
And let's be honest: ping pong breaks and afternoon beers are also part of the creative equation!
Q5. Many agencies and designers will be looking to your work for inspiration but who inspires you?
We find inspiration everywhere but mostly in the work of fellow design studios and other fields (cinema, architecture, restaurant industry, video games, etc.). You never know when or where you'll find inspiration. It could be while browsing CSSDA on the web, or simply while walking down the street to work. There are so many great talents in the world and exploring them all is sometimes overwhelming. It's important to find your own style if you want to stand out.
Q6. What trends would you like to see grow in 2016?
We would like to see not following a trend become a trend! Let's be original! It seems like 75% of sites launched this year looked alike or seemed like they came from the same template.
Something we will see more of is the fusion between design and user experience (UX) and the development of responsive and multiplatform sites. You cannot have a desktop only website anymore, mobile is here to stay.
Q7. How will your team celebrate winning one of the industry's top awards and have you chosen a space for your new Shiny Brackets trophy?
It would be awesome if the boss could bring us all to the Caribbean to celebrate! (What do you think Fouad ?! :D) If not, a couple of cold ones and a poutine for everyone! (Poutine is a Quebec specialty dish consisting of French fries topped with squeaky cheese and rich brown gravy.)
As for the trophy, we thought we'd use it as a door stopper so it will be the first thing clients see when they arrive ;) Or maybe it will simply have a place of honor on our Wall Of Fame.