August 2, 2002


Hillman Curtis, a prominent designer who specializes in motion graphics for the Web, discusses his design aesthetic and sources of inspiration. Though the volume lacks structure and drive, it does make interesting snapshot of a working designers world view and work practice with many visual quotations from his own studio and from artists Curtis particularly admires. The closing section of guest lectures on elements of design misses its target; readers with enough design background to follow Curtis's allusions and inspirations in the first section of the volume are unlikely to need tutorials on the layout grid or the color wheel.

Curtis's particular strengths on the Web, I think, are his ability to establish and sustain pacing in motion -- his Flash work really moves -- and his knack for borrowing familiar imagery without simply building yet another retro pastiche. Neither strength is discussed much here, but the first may be a matter of craft ill-suited to text while the second is, perhaps, merely a question of taste.