This month's cover design was produced by James Widegren, head of THREE.OH in Sweden. As well as this month's cover, you can see the beautiful opening Flash on his site. He is an up-and-coming creator working for various projects despite being only 19 years old. We interviewed him while working with Vir2L in Washington, DC
First of all, please tell us who you are.
I'm James Widegren, 19 years old. I was born and raised in Sweden. I'm actually half Swedish half Philippino. I'm head and creator of THREE.OH - Inspirational Kingdom. Had my company Nisch back in Sweden but went to London to work for Razorfish as a freelance designer.
What are you currently doing?
I'm trying to settle down for a while. Not sure where or when that will happen. Otherwise I mostly work. And I play some video games with my new roomie Jason from vtwin labs.
I've heard that you're currently working with Vir2L in Washington, DC What kind of projects are you working for there?
Yes, I have been here for about 3 weeks and it's cool. Got to work on the new Vir2L site which will launch soon. Watch out for some nice Flash and audio. The rest is classified but it's definitely some really nice work.
Could you tell us more about THREE.OH? What kind of things are you doing there?
THREE.OH is my precious little baby on the net. I want it to be a high quality site that promotes and inspires the internet design scene.
I try my best but work is slowing it down right now.
The THREE.OH web site has been renewed and it has become totally different than before. What inspired you to renew the site?
Well, it was clear that I just had to renew it and give it a new look. I tried several different interfaces and was in the midst of finishing my second interface. But I realized it wasn't functional and had to think of a new way. At that time I read a lot of fashion magazines, they made the impact to the third, clean design.
What are you targeting on THREE.OH web site? How do you think THREE.OH will look like in the future?
I definitely want it to be a daily resource for people.
In the future, hmm... maybe THREE.OH will give Communication Arts an Annual Award or something hehe.
How did you start working on web design?
I've actually never taken any web design classes. I've had my friends and we have merged and shared our knowledge.
It started about 4 years ago when I studied Media Communication in Sweden. There were a couple of guys in an upper class who did something called "a homepage". So I thought it was cool and snapped Photoshop + .............Netscape Gold HTML Editor up. After that... oh yeah, aova.
What are your policies/ideas on design and which personal principles do you follow in creating a design?
Design is all about communicating something visually. Think about the user and what you really want to say. Know your audience.
When you made the cover design for Shift this month, what did you imagine?
Irony, but you'll have to figure that one out yourself.
We'd like to ask you about Washington, DC. What's hot now in Washington, DC? What interests you most at the moment there?
Not much, it's pretty calm around here. Been to a couple of places downtown and they were ok. There's a lot of cool malls and stores with nice stuff. But I haven't experienced anything rad yet.
What do you think about Japan?
Oh yeah! Have to visit Japan. Sometime in the future I'll be knocking on your door and you could show me around. Japan seems very, very nice.
Who are your favorite visual/graphic designers and sites?
The guys in The Attik - Insane and wonderful graphics! The same with The Imaginary Forces. I like Why Not Associates because they know what real typography is. My fave site would have to be www.icq.com ...no I mean www.adobe.com or www.commarts.com because functionality is good.
The last question. Do you have any plans for the near future?
Finish off all my side projects so I can start making real motion graphics.
Interview and Text: Mayumi Kaneko