Digital Talent: Eric Jordan

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At just 29, Eric Jordan is already considered one of the godfathers of Flash. The website of his Orange County, California-based digital design shop 2Advanced Studios has been showered with cyber honors: it earned the title of Adobe's "Most Influential Flash Site of the Decade" in 2006 and is an inductee to the FWA (Favorite Website Awards) Hall of Fame, where it sits alongside the work of other online groundbreakers like North Kingdom, Big Spaceship (see p. 30) and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners." Launched in 1999, 2Advanced was one of the first companies to open the web community's eyes to the emotional and artistic range of Flash design—via its sophisticated sci-fi inspired home site, as well as several commercial projects, for Electronic Arts, Ford, Motorola, Nintendo, Lexus and the recent Transformers/Chevy promotion, "The Rise of the Autobots."

"Flash is not unlike other artistic mediums," says Jordan, who now serves as 2Advanced's president, but continues to remain heavily involved in design and development. "It is ever changing and its limits are endless, provided we continue to help evolve it to the next level." Although Flash designers early on were criticized for being more style over substance, Jordan's aim has been to close that gap. "There was a resistance to Flash in its infancy because it was thought to be highly unusable, and was considered to be simply 'eye-candy.' What I continually push at 2Advanced is the notion that Flash can be an entertaining, flexible and usable medium for delivering information on the Web. I look for ways in which it can be used to enhance a user's experience and ability to receive and manipulate information. When used properly and creatively, Flash can prove to be a very strong platform for delivering content."

2Advanced is currently testing design boundaries on a site for a cervical cancer vaccine that integrates 80 live action video segments with Flash, and several videogame promotion projects for Lucas Arts. The company also launched a beta version of an all-Flash digital download site for dance and electronica music,—an homage of sorts to another of Jordan's loves—when the sun goes down, he can be found at the turntables as a trance/house DJ and music producer.

You became known for a very sophisticated, futuristic style. What creative direction are you drawn toward now?
Jordan: I will always be drawn to the concept of the "Future," and I doubt my fascination with what lies ahead will ever fade. Naturally, this fascination reveals itself in my style of design. The interesting thing about the notion of the "Future," is that it is constantly in flux, it is always morphing according to the collective consciousness of the human psyche. At this point in my life, I would call my creative direction "progressive," rather than futuristic. Not everything I create has a future-centric theme, but rather a tone of optimism, forward momentum—an indefinable progression toward something we do not understand and perhaps will never understand.

Where do you see Flash going?
Jordan: In the future, I see Flash continuing to grow as a content delivery platform, but becoming much more sophisticated and robust. In addition, I see it being adopted by more technological platforms and devices such as interactive kiosks, touch-screen interfaces, cell phones, etc. In Japan, mobile phones already make use of Flash in their UI's. 2Advanced was fortunate enough to be able to deliver some of the first prototype cell phone interfaces for Fujitsu, designed entirely in Flash. It is only a matter of time before the U.S. and the rest of the world catch up.
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