The Firm List Interviews Paul Jarvis of TwoThirty Media

The Firm List interviews designer friend Paul Jarvis and talks about web applications, having your clients do the selling for you, and half-crazed Canadian mounties.

Interview w/ Paul Jarvis,

FL: When I crossed over the border from the US, I was hit by signs that said “think metric.” In that same vein, what do you think are the differences between web design in Canada versus the US (or anywhere else)? Is it as simple as a conversion formula or something deeper?

Paul: i think there are differences between designers from each country, but it’s a subtle sociological/cultural thing that only other people in the industry could pick up on, and sometimes even they can’t. since design is really rooted in culture, if two cultures are kind of similar, then the same will show through in designs. another item to think about is that since the web is “global” most of the cultural influences are from the same source (the web), regardless of country, since anyone in any country can see the same sites.

the majority of my clients are american though, and i think if my designs were recognizably canadian, i wouldn’t get as much US work. in proposals and filler text though i always try and excert my canadianness as much as possible with adding “u”s to words like colour and favourite and writing cheque with the que instead of the eck.

FL: In addition to web applications & websites, you feature various other projects, including twotiny, a set of icons. Tiny icons. First off, why tiny? And then, how does this fit into the overall picture you have for twothirty?

Paul: “tiny” because the icons are smaller than most other icon sets and only come in that size. they fit into the overall picture in so much as they are a new area for me to explore that i haven’t before. i’ve run many startup companies, but they’ve all been service-based. so having, marketing and selling a product was something new to me. it’s been pretty good so far, and i’ve already broken my initial sales goal (which really weren’t too high to begin with). another side project of “twothirty” was, which is still online, although doesn’t get the visitors it used to (at it’s peak it was breaching 500,000 visitors a month).”

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