Judging an international design competition is no easy task. It takes a special kind of person that is willing to give their time and experience for the betterment of the industry.

It's time to shine a spotlight on these special individuals and dig a little deeper to see what makes them tick. Therefore, on behalf of the CSSDA founders and crew, please enjoy the following interview with one of our esteemed judging panel members.

In A Nutshell:

Emmanuel Cruellas is a Creative Director that is fascinated with interactive design. Previously he worked as an Art Director for 7 years, spent one year in a digital agency and five years as a freelancer. Two years ago Emmanuel and his partner started Bonhomme, a creative studio based in Paris. We try to focus on meaningful UX through interactive interfaces.

1. When and what was your first ever computer? Can you remember the spec?

I bought my first computer when I was 15 years old. It was a... computer... with a CD player... and it was black!

2. When and what was the first website you were involved in designing/developing? Which elements of the project did you do? Can you remember the 'cutting edge' tech used at the time? How did the site turn out and what did this experience teach you?

I designed my first website in 2005, for a friends music band. I did everything with "swift max", an Adobe Flash like software, and paint, yes THE paint from Windows. The website hasn't been visited that much, thank God, but it opened my mind to graphic arts and I am thankful for the experience.

3. Which project has been most rewarding for you over the course of your career and why?

I remember one of the first competition I did for a nice Luxury Brand in Paris when I was a freelance Art Director. My goal was to design an astonishing experience, with interactive, motion design and music. I was convinced that it was the right way to get my first award on a website. The client didn't choose my proposal. A few months later I was surprised to see the proposal he chose. The website was simple, easy to understand. I felt really stupid. I think that's when I understood that I should not run after awards, but focus more on what the client needs, and if the project gets an award, that's just the cherry on the burger.

4. What career advice would you give to yourself if you could send a 'temporal text' 5 - 10 years into the past?

"Get out of the office!"

5. Better still, if you had your own hot tub time machine, what time period would you travel to and why?

I would have been happy to be next to Joseph Muller Brockmann in 1955 when he designed his poster for the Beethoven concert. His work is breath-taking.

Favourite Things:

1. What are your favourite aspects about working in design?

One of the cool things about working at Bonhomme is that we design with multiple disciplines. You start your day by designing a business card, then you have to create a motion video and the day after, an interactive wall made of several screens.

2. What are your favourite design tools, sites, fonts and resources right now?

I only use Photoshop and Aftereffect. I don't have any other specific resources. Every morning, I visit awarding websites that everyone knows. Regarding fonts, I try to follow Brands' charts.

3. What are your favorite devices right now from mobile to desktop?


4. Which 3 cities would be your favorite to open an office in and why?

NYC for the brands, London (for the weather of course) and Bora Bora for our employees everyday life.

5. What is your favorite activity outside of work?

Nobody told me I was supposed to pick just one! Damn it.

Life Hacks:

1. How do you stay motivated?

As I was saying earlier, one of the great aspects of working in design is that you don't do the same thing everyday. Making new things for new clients with new challenges is really motivating.

2. Do you have a good life/work balance? Could it be improved? If so how?

It's hard to say. I work most part of the week, but I love it. Recently, I've tried to open my everyday life to other activities. It's interesting, but I think I'm a work addict.

3. Do you have any career advice for young designers and developers?

Do it harder, it's not good enough!

4. How do you keep up with the latest trends & tech?

Thanks to CSS Design Awards and other awarding websites. Also, Bonhomme team feeds a lot to our Slack Channel with projects they discover.

5. If money was abolished and nobody needed to work anymore, what would you do with your life?

The same thing as today.

Versus: In your opinion...

1. Are great designers born Vs. made by experience?

By experience.

2. Is the best long term goal to be a founder Vs. freelance Vs. full­time job?

It's so different. People should do what they want. I've had those 3 goals the last 10 years, and I loved those 3 lives.

3. iPhone 6s vs Samsung S6 vs other?

Nothing will ever beat the Nokia 8210.

4. Printed book vs eBook?

What? I don't read.

5. Star Trek vs Star Wars?

Sorry guys, contrary to what people expect, I work on a PC and I'm not a geek ;)

Thanks for your time. Any last words?


Emmanuel is Co-founder & Creative Director of Bonhomme and a multi-awarded Art-Director.