Q1. Congratulations on winning DOTY S 2014! How does it feel to see your hard work pay off?
It's a great honor and a beautiful reward. We’re really proud of this achievement. It allows the team to be recognized for all its hard work and dedication.
Q2. Who founded Akaru and how did the company name come to be chosen?
Richard Boiteux and Xavier Fortier co-founded Akaru in 2008. The Japanese culture always influenced and inspired us so we looked in that direction. Akaru means to become bright which incites us to put the spotlight on our client through our work. For all the Star Wars fans out there, it's also the name of one of the planets.
Q3. How many people are working at Akaru right now?
We're a team of 5 and growing!
Q4. Although DOTY S provides a level playing field, your work is still seen alongside much larger agencies. How are you able to produce such great work in light of such strong competition?
We encourage our clients to trust us, our philosophy is to go above and beyond the client original expectations. We like to challenge our own skills and we want to make sure we're always proud of all our projects. The whole team brainstorms together when we start working on a new project, each idea or suggestion is important.
Q5. So much amazing work is coming out of France lately, is there something in the water? Why do you think French designers are leading the way right now?
We prefer wine over water ;) French designers are doing a great job out there. The French ecosystem does everything it can to become leader in digital production. There are many initiatives in place to always improve the level of expertise in the agencies. Communication and exchange between professionals create a positive energy that makes the difference.
Q6. How does your team stay inspired and maintain such a high level of creativity?
A little LSD in your morning coffee does the trick! Hahaha! No seriously, we like meeting and exchanging info with other actors of the industry to make sure we're always aware of the latest trends and innovations. We like working in a cool and relaxed environment where creativity (and beer) can flow.
Q7. What trends would you like to see grow in 2015?
More WebGL and interactive experiences mixing media (videos, photos, audio...). But really what we would love to see is clients trusting our ideas without trying to dictate everything, so we can really go out there and come up with really cool stuff!
Q8. How will you be celebrating winning DOTY S?
Champagne, caviar, bitches and cocaine, what else?! Now that we're rockstars we have to party like them. Just kidding. Maybe we'll go to a cheap fast-food :D
Q9. Do you have a special place in mind for displaying the trophy?
In between the football table and the keg, so we can always keep an eye on it!
Q10. On behalf of the CSSDA crew and the entire digital world, thank you for your inspiring work. Is there anyone you wish to thank and do you have any final comments?
First of all, we want to thank every member of our team for their work and dedication, and being so awesome!
We also want to thank our friends and colleagues in the industry for their creativity and talent: Rezo Zero, Cher Ami, Fantassin, Danka, Shiftbrain, Ultranoir, Suspended Animations, all the other cool studios and agencies that are doing great stuff and talented people as Benoit Challand, Arnaud Tanielian, Manuel Tocanne, Gilles Tossoukpé, Benjamin Guedj, JC Suzanne, Basile Tournier, Maxime Sarri, Franco Bouly, Florian Morel, Lionel Durimel, Louis Ansa, Nathan Gordon... and all the others! And of course thanks Phoenix for your awesome work!
Thank you to Sebastien Boudot for the photos of the interview.