netmagFeature

.net Awards 2013: best online portfolio

We delve into the minds of the 10 talented individuals who've made it onto the shortlist for the best online portfolio category in this year's .net Awards

This year's .net Awards are all about welcoming the newer faces in the industry. For this award, we're looking for a web designer with a seriously impressive portfolio.

Starting in January, we asked you to tell us who you think is deserving of this award, and we whittled down a long list of suggestions to the final 10 you see below. We're now collecting public votes, and the three nominees with the most votes will be submitted to our panel of experts who will pick a final winner.

Head over to the Awards site to cast your vote.

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Vaclav Krbusek

Job: Art director
Based in: Prague
Clients: Mattel, T-Mobile, Amnesty International, Peugeot and loads of smaller ones

.net: How did you get into web design?
Vaclav Krbusek: My first job was a web designer and animator and I've got it more out of necessity than anything else. The design school I was attending at the time was useless, my parents had just divorced and there was a danger that I would end up having to pay the mortgage for my mother, and then my girlfriend lost her place to live ... so I had to find SOME work.

.net: Who and what influences and inspires your work?
VK: The source of inspiration for my stuff is mystery to me (as it partially has to be for everyone), but I definitely look more at painting, photography, movies, art in general and science than actual web design.

.net: What have you been working on this year?
VK: I've been working on some T-Mobile campaigns lately, but I've managed to do more work on videos and music, which is a pleasant departure for me.

.net: What are you excited about at the moment?
VK: Recently I've won two Art Directors Club of Europe Awards: one silver, one gold for microsites I did with SYMBIO Digital ... so that's not bad. It also looks like I will be moving to New York soon, so that's definitely up there.

Guillaume Tomasi

Job: Freelance creative developer and co-founder of In The Loop Studio
Based in: Montreal
Clients and side projects: My clients are essentially communications agencies when I do freelancing (Akufen, Departement, Fidel Studios …)

I'm working alone on a side project that's going to motivate me each day: 'the Nex7 Marathon'. The Nex7 is a reflex camera from Sony. I will use this camera and post a photo every day as long as possible. Users can 'like' and 'fav' every photo, discover a little story behind the shot, get the exif data and make a suggestion for a new theme.

Each week has a theme (like black and white, architecture, people, ...). It's based on a related poll where the users can participate. It will be a HTML5 version, available on every device.

.net: How did you get into web design?
Guillaume Tomasi: I started my first job in 2006 in Switzerland. Before that, I learned the basic concepts of developing a website with HTML, JavaScript and PHP. But at this time, the standards were very annoying and I wasn't very excited about creating a corporate website.

I discovered Flash 4 during my studies and I fell in love with this way to animate graphics easily. I bought books and worked, worked, worked ... very hard. The result was that for six years I had the chance to do interesting Flash projects.

At this time I had only a 'developer vision' and when I left France and came to Canada, I began to become more and more interested in design.  

.net: Who and what influences and inspires your work?
GT: First of all, I find my inspiration in the movies and literature. I'd be lying if I don't mention FWA. I discovered this website in 2004. Every day, I wanted to see the site of the day. I was like a child in front of a candy shop. It's still a inspiration.

When I was student, I loved North Kingdom, Group94, Firstborn, FI etc … and I was a huge fan of Robert Lindstrm, Shane Mielke and Pelle Martin. Now they are the main actors of the web.

Today my preference will goes to like HelloHikimori, StinkDigital, Les84, Hello Monday etc.

.net: What have you been working on this year?
GT: With my mate Sidar Sahin, I finished the portfolio site for our new studio. We are very proud of the results. This website is really us; it reflects our personality.

My main project this year was the flash development of the interactive web series Emilie. It's a new way of telling a story. The user is closer to the characters and he can actively influence the story. The last episode will be online on the 11 April. It's my biggest project for a long time and I thank Akufen for giving me this opportunity to work with them on it.

.net: What are you excited about at the moment?
GT: Photography is my new drug. I really like it. But for the web, I'm very impressed about what we are capable of doing with WebGL and HTML canvas. I've started to get back into JavaScript and HTML5 and I've rediscovered the joy I felt when I was first learning ActionScript. Very promising.

Robby Leonardi

Job: Digital media designer at Fox News Channel
Based in: New York
Clients and side projects: Fox, Speed TV, FX Networks, myNetworkTV, and G4

.net: How did you get into web design?
Robby Leonardi: It was all started by my fascination with computer graphics. First I learned 3D software like AutoCAD and 3D Max, then I started to learn Photoshop to create textures for my 3D models. Since I also wanted to present them online, I started to learn Flash. I fell in love with Flash and its ActionScript right away. There was a kind of excitement to combine both creative and technical aspects into one interactive experience. At that time, I knew that I wanted to make a career in interactive media field. Web designer was a very good choice since I would do design and programming as well. The job market was also on the side of the web designer since there was a lot of demand to establish an online presence.

.net: Who and what influences and inspires your work?
RL: It's difficult to choose who influences my work since there are too many of them. A web designer is always influenced by other web designers. However, it's easy to choose what inspires me. I always inspire by good designs. It's very contagious. It makes me want to deliver good work all the time.

.net: What have you been working on this year?
RL: I am working on several show websites for Fox News Channel. I also worked on Fox News Xbox Kinect app and Fox News Windows Phone app previously.

.net: What are you excited about at the moment?
RL: Right now I am very excited about designing illustration-based website. My design portfolio website receives lots of good responses from design communities out there. Since I'm very excited about it, I've been working on another illustration-based website recently. This one is going to be an interactive info graphic about my resume. I guarantee this one will be an awesome website too!

Marisa Passos

Job: Designer/Student
Based in: Braga, Portugal
Clients and side projects: Associations / musicians / small companies

.net: How did you get into web design?
Marisa Passos: Overall, web design emerged as a way to complement the general interest that I've always had for the informatics and technology field.

.net: Who and what influences and inspires your work?
MP: In the web design field, I enjoy checking the works of agencies such as Brocratik, Massive, Ultranoir and Anagrama.

.net: What have you been working on this year?
MP: Mostly, I've been working on school projects due to the fact that I'm attending a master's degree in graphic design and editorial projects at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Porto. In the near future, I hope I can be able to develop some personal projects and, eventually, earn work experience at a design company.

.net: What are you excited about at the moment?
MP: My path on the world of design has been relatively recent and it just excites me to see that the projects I've been developing are actually being recognised by professionals and platforms of the area.

Stephen Burgess

Job: Developer at Fantasy Interactive
Based in: New York, NY
Clients and side projects: Probably the most notable project I’ve worked on in the past year is the relaunch of the USA Today site. I was part of a large dev team and I honestly think we all did an amazing job to deliver the site in the timeframe

I also have a few ideas for nice side projects and collaborations with designers lined up for this year, hopefully I’ll be able to get a few of those built and up on the web

.net: How did you get into web design?
Stephen Burgess: I studied multimedia at university and realised that if I didn’t choose something to specialise in I’d become a 'jack of all trades, master of none'. During my second year of studying I started work part time at a small startup company writing code. I really enjoyed it and knew I’d found my calling. To be honest programming is a hobby and a passion for me, the fact that someone is prepared to pay me to do it day-to-day as a job is a bonus!

.net: Who and what influences and inspires your work?
SB: I’d have to say my good friend Tobias van Schneider has been a big influence in recent months. He’s a designer at Fi and I sit next to him at work. He’s undoubtedly one of the most talented designers I’ve ever worked with and he helped me alot with the design of my portfolio.

In terms of the ‘what’, I would have to say a strong desire to keep learning and improve. It’s the nature of web development that things are constantly changing and as soon as you become complacent you’ll find yourself behind. I actually only made the switch from being a flash developer to focusing on JavaScript and CSS about a year ago so I’ve still got loads to learn and this drives me on.

.net: What have you been working on this year?
SB: I’m currently working on a pretty big project at Fi that everyone will see later in the year. The site is for a product that most designers know and use daily so it’s something the team really cares about and this definitely comes across in the awesome design.

.net: What are you excited about at the moment?
SB: That’s a tough one. There’s always so much going on in the tech world that it’s hard to pick just one. Being from England, I’ll do what we do best and talk about the weather. I’m most excited about the end of this long New York winter and the start of summer which is, hopefully, right around the corner!

Shane Prendergast

Based in: Manchester, UK
Clients and side projects: worthyofnote.co.uk, base.webknit.co.uk

.net: How did you get into web design?
Shane Prendergast: University of Hull web design and development degree

.net: Who and what influences and inspires your work?
SP: I try to make things that will give something back to the industry.

.net: What have you been working on this year?
SP: I only graduated last May, so obtaining employment and getting myself to a good standard post university.

.net: What are you excited about at the moment?
SP: I've just started working for McCann-Erickson and I'm looking forward to getting stuck in and proving my worth to the team.

Filidor Wiese

Job: Filidor Wiese is a freelance front/backend web developer. Collaborator Arthur van 't Hoog is a freelance graphic designer
Based in: Groningen, the Netherlands
Clients and side projects: Heineken, Wildlife LA Amsterdam Arena

.net: How did you get into web design?
AvH: I studied graphic design and illustration at art school. But there was no web design course back then (2004) as far as I can remember. Soon after I got out of art school someone asked me to design a website. So I jumped on it and taught myself. Things change rapidly, mostly in the technical field. So I'm always learning and I'm happy to work with talented web developers and other creatives to create functional, fun or interesting websites.

.net: Who and what influences and inspires your work?
AvH: I like old book covers and graphic novels. Music always had an influence on me. So has coffee. For my daily visual fix I like blogs like ffffound.com, formfiftyfive.com, thefoxisblack.com and itsnicethat.com. Recently I stumbled upon hoverstat.es highlighting some new or interesting interaction design.

.net: What have you been working on this year?
FW: An interactive map for Heineken showing off the vastness of its brand portfolio and different kind of statistics per market and region.

.net: What are you excited about at the moment?
AvH, FW: A HTML5/Node.js/canvas multiplayer game we're developing (along with Arjen de Vries) in our spare time. It's called Multeor and will be released soon. Using a smartphone you control a meteor that's crashing into earth and you have to destroy as much buildings as possible in your downfall.

Paul Currah

Job: Freelance graphic and digital designer
Based in: Dorset, UK
Clients and side projects: I've worked with some big brands, and some one-man-bands. It’s this variety that keeps me fresh and inspired. Please see my clients page, here

.net: How did you get into web design?
Paul Currah: Web design became a necessary extension of my brand identity work.

.net: Who and what influences and inspires your work?
PC: I'm inspired by the everyday and always keep a camera on me to record the unexpected. I love running along the Dorset coast and countryside, which is great 'thinking space' time. I'm also known for my interest in astronomy. I find space fascinating. 

Other designers who inspire me are those who share my ethos: design-led ideas. I'm always interested in what agencies including The Partners, Hat-trick Design, Gregory Bonner Hale and Magpie Studio are doing.

.net: What have you been working on this year?
PC: A wedding photographer's identity/website, an iPhone app called Good Sort for Facebook, a well known sock brand's identity/packaging, plus digital work for Macmillan Cancer Support.

.net: What are you excited about at the moment?
PC: I'm always excited about what I'm going to be working on next – it can be really surprising what project is coming next. I enjoy the variety of working for a diverse mix of people. I love the process of researching for a new brief, working out the most effective and efficient way to solve the client's communication challenges and delivering solutions and making the client happy is very rewarding.

Vladimir Kudinov

Job: Designer at DesignModo
Based in: Brooklyn, New York

Vladimir has worked as a web designer, PHP programmer and art director. Highlights from his huge portfolio include Square UI, a flat user interface pack, and this IMDB user interface concept.

Square UI is a kit of colourful components created in the style of the flat design trend that anyone can use to build a website.

In a similar vein, Vladimir also created The Bricks, a UI pack of configurable building blocks such as edit boxes, menus and pop-ups that are available for others to use. 

Sergey Shmidt

Job: Interface designer and illustrator at DesignModo
Based in: Brooklyn, New York

Sergey is co-founder of web design blog DesignModo. His personal site and Dribbble page showcase his passion for photography, illustration and flat user interface design

Highlights from his portfolio include two large packs of vector icons, and a collection of illustrations of buildings in Amsterdam.

 Click here to cast your votes!

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