Art director and designer Jonathan Da Costa on side projects, working on a global relaunch for a fashion house and his love of open source.
Paris-based Jonathan Da Costa is one of 10 nominees for Best Online Portfolio in the 2014 net Awards. His impressive client list includes Barclays, Citroën, Coca-Cola, Dior, Fondation Cartier and Moët & Chandon, and he's inspired by algorithms, Brazilian music and vintage motorcycles. We quizzed him to find out more.
Give us a summary of your career so far.
I came from a science background and studied at Gobelins, in Paris, graduating in multimedia in 2006. Everything went pretty fast from there and I worked as lead designer and art director for several French agencies and studios in Paris.
I started freelancing back in 2012, mainly for agencies but also for brands on digitally lead projects.
What have you been working on over the last year?
I've had the chance to be involved in various different kinds of projects, from very big platform design to small applications and concepts. My longest task was a global relaunch of one of the most famous French fashion houses, which required all kinds of creative input, from photography, global art direction to interface wireframing and design. Besides that, I also worked on self-produced projects like an [experimental gaming] installation called Ponk, and an art mobile app concept.
Tell us about the process of designing your portfolio site.
My process was kind of hybrid during all the design work. I tend to switch between regular design templating and code prototypes to explore interactions and ideas. I like to find some design aspects in code and return to Photoshop in order to refine the visual concepts. This has been repeated for each aspect, back and forth into code and design until I had the final interface.
It was probably my longest design build ever, as I was constantly trying new stuff. Designing for yourself is a weird process as I think we are our worst clients.
Who and what influences and inspires your work?
The rule for me is to look at non-digital areas to find inspiration, such as other media types or fields and try to figure out how things work. I like to think that inspiration comes when you aren't looking for it.
Name an 'unsung hero', someone you admire who deserves more recognition for their work.
I really admire all people delivering exceptional open source software, products and services to the community. There are too many great projects to choose just one, but all people involved in those projects are one of the reasons why things are constantly moving forward.
Vote in the net Awards!
Celebrating the best in web design and development, the 15th net Awards is open for public voting until 24 March. With a record breaking number of nominations this year, it's set to be the biggest and best yet. Have your say by casting your votes here.