Hillman Curtis Ought to be More Famous.
Ok. He’s already really famous if you’re in a specific crowd. In the late 90’s and early 00’s, he was inescapable. He showed a lot of people what Flash design could be when you applied some restraint, and creativity. He was able to elevate something we were just starting to call “web design” into an art.
You don’t hear quite as much about Curtis these days. Which is amazing since his company has been doing work for some of the cream of the Fortune 500. At one time he must’ve beat the drum a bit harder than he does now.
But the reason why he’s worth writing a quick post about is that even today he’s doing something more of us should be doing in the design field. Designing with emotion.
It’s one thing to make your layout look cool. Or to have that certain little quirk in the interaction that makes your viewer say “oooh.” It’s a whole other thing to make someone’s breath catch in their throat for a minute.
Design is a really powerful medium. Yes it’s a method to sell products, but when it’s done well, it’s so much more than that. When your work touches people, and makes them think about the shortness of life, and the way that humans interact, it’s so very much more than advertising…
You might not get teary eyed looking at a Hillman Curtis website. They’re really cool, and well worth their place in the history of our industry, but it’s his films that will really get you. They’re simple, poignant, and perfect.
If you’re working on a design, and just shoving some pixels around- stop a minute. Think about why design is so important. Watch a couple of these and get back at it with your heart into it.