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The First Winner of the Creative Beacon Weekly Design Contest

by | Mar 28, 2010 | Articles | 0 comments

I had a great time this past week seeing everyone’s entries. Tons of work poured in that was absolutely marvelous. There can only be one winner per week, though, and one group’s work stood out amongst the crowd this week. Steve Miceli from Miceli Studios submitted his work, and it absolutely blew me away! His studio has done a lot of motion web design work, and it all loads fast, flows smoothly, is consistent, and is absolutely beautiful, as well as intuitive and fresh. I had the pleasure of asking Steve a few questions and he was kind enough to share some insight into his work, as well as his methodology and way of thinking.

1. What is your background in the field?

I have been in the design and advertising industry for 15 years professionally.
Starting out as a graphic designer at a small firm — and working my way up to an interactive creative director at a big ad agency in New York City.
Always seeking to learn more about design, the design tools, and creativity so that I could break away from larger firms and start my own.

2. How long have you been  a professional graphic designer?

15 years

3. What is your all time favorite piece- the one you are most proud of?

Well, that’s a tough question… Picasso always said when asked this “the next one…” but I believe it’s the ones that I am working on right now, and the ones that push me to make design better, or push me to learn more.

4. What is your major source of inspiration?

Inspiration is all around us. Ya know I would like to say the design books that I read or some of the inspiration sites that I look at on a daily basis,
and that’s true — but it’s really more than that. It’s all the people that I have been in contact with, not just designers – everyone has something that can serve as inspiration. And of course God and nature are the greatest sources of inspiration!

5. What designer has influenced your work the most?

I truly love simplicity and clean design, so some of the Swedish and Norwegian designers have really influenced me, but I am from New York City and I really love the raw-ness of street art and some of those guys are really talented and offer a great deal of influence on good art and design.

6. What is your favorite program or design tool?

Hands down — Flash !

7. Do you have a specific workflow that you use when creating your work?

Yea, you kind have to to be successful — I mean it’s great to just be hit by an idea and run with it, but real great design, like everything else takes discipline. But in terms of workflow it goes something like this: research, design, walk away, make better, walk away, research, design, walk away, make better, walk away… something like that

8. What is your creative process?

The creative process can take so many interesting turns and that’s the great part about it — it’s a process! It takes time. I would say it’s definitely iterative and it all starts with a good discovery phase – learning everything you can about that which you are about to design for. To break it down would be 1. Discovery 2. Design 3. Develop 4. QA and Test

9. Wow! Your animation flows well, is smooth and quick, and has absolutely NO load times. In Flash web design, you often see long load times, quirkiness, and sometimes glitches. How do you make everything so incredibly fast?

I think it just has to do with trying to mimic the way nature moves. It’s trying to trick the viewer into believing your story – so incorporating the way things naturally flow and often embellishing them or making them seem hyper realistic all stems from the principles of physics.

10. Your animation and interface work is so intuitive and clean. How do you decide how everything will flow and move and interact with one another?

I think a lot has to do with keeping the right and left brain communicating with one another — we are dealing with art and design and things that should appear naturally clean and beautiful, but at the same time remembering and incorporating the technology upon which they depend — and using the correct tool for the right design, or the right animation curve or easing property will allow things to flow together and appear intuitive to the viewer.

Here are a few samples of Steve Miceli’s work. You can view all of his work at Be sure to check it out, you”ll absolutely love it!

The first week is over, but the new week has already begun! Be sure to submit your work by Thursday at 5PM EST each week. I want to see your best work, and if you win, you will be featured the following Monday, with an interview and showcase of your work. It can be print, web, motion graphics, digital painting, 3-Dimensional design-anything! Simply go to

I want to give send out a big thank you to everyone that submitted their work, and especially to Steve Miceli and his studio for showing us all how it’s done!

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