Bubbler Executive of the Week

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:52 am

Brian Artka, owner and developer of Size43, LLC in Milwaukee

Name: Brian Artka                                                
Title: Owner and Developer                                                 
Company name: Size43, LLC        
Company address: 900 S 6th Street, Suite 306, Milwaukee, WI
Web site: http://www.size43.com
Industry: Web/Interactive          
Family: Married to Aga Artka

What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year? “Over the past year I have partnered with some fellow designers and developers in my industry around the country. It has opened up new opportunities for size43 that would have otherwise not been available. In addition, size43 is committed to continuing education due to the fast pace of change in our industry. Taking advantage of learning opportunities and staying in tune with changes in the interactive field and the areas we specialize in keeps us on top of our game, which in the end, lets us better serve our clients. We do the research and keep up-to-date on web technology in order to keep the work we do for our clients fresh and help them survive on the web.”
What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?
“Staying on top of our game and at the same time satisfying our clients with the quality and constructive work we are known for.”

What’s the hottest trend in your industry?
“There are a lot of buzz words being thrown around in the interactive industry, but two stick out: HTML5 and Web Typography. As a front end web developer (or the one who builds the code and interactivity behind a website design), HTML5 (which is really three different things), will eventually take over many things that Flash can do. Web Typography is going to be very big in 2011. It used to be that if you wanted to use a certain typeface on a website design, and it was not one of a very small handful of common typefaces, you would have to make it an image or use some other method for it to display on your website. Things are changing with CSS (the style code) to allow typefaces to be used on the actual website for users to see.”
Do you have a business mantra?
“My mantra–Be happy, have passion for what you do, and always deliver a solid and quality product to your client. When one works with size43, they get a no BS approach to how and what they should do to solve their problem of getting a presence on the worldwide web. We handcraft every aspect of our work; every site design, all the code, and the videos are built from the ground up. Handcrafting is the key to building a unique experience.”

From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?
“Paul Rand and Ladislav Sutnar, may they rest in peace. These are two of the great designers of the 20th century that understood their craft and every detail that went into the projects they did to solve their clients’ problems. While reading their books, some 30-40 years old, you learn things that are still extremely relevant, even to interactive designers and developers like myself.  Design is about solving a client’s problems first, and then making it look good. If you just start making something look good, without defining and solving the problem first, you are decorating, not designing.”
What was the best advice you ever received?
“I have gotten a lot of good advice over the years, but one that always sticks in my head, was while in film school at UWM. For one of my bigger projects, I set out to do a documentary on bowling, specifically some bowlers in a local bowling alley. I shot some footage of an interview with the manager and we set up in a dark, dingy room with a white background. The content was good, but the images were not that great. We had to share this in class and my teacher, after seeing it, said, ‘This looks like crap. You can do better than this.’ At first I was shocked and a little angry, but then I thought to myself, wow, he is so right. I went back, picked a much better location, and took the time to worry about the details, the setup, the lighting, and the content. The results were so much better than the original. The moral of the story is, don’t get lazy, sweat the details, and always strive for quality work. I’ve carried this over to the web work I do now.”

What do you like to do in your free time?
“Read books. I have lots of books; mostly on my craft; web development, design, graphic design or filmmaking. Amazon.com is my friend and my enemy at the same time. (It’s too easy to order more books!) I also enjoy trips with my wife Aga around the country and sometimes over seas. It’s nice to get away to new places because the inspiration is exhilarating, especially when you see design in everything around you.

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?
“At a simple first meeting with a client at a coffee shop, while we both sat on a couch ready to discuss the project, I was asked if I could hold her coffee for her while she got her notes out. Well, I did; and kept holding it for like 5 minutes before she started laughing and said, ‘I didn’t mean keep holding it, you can put it down next to you!’ I guess my gentleman like persona got the best of me and I just kept holding it. Suffice to say, this client has become a good friend and in a way a mentor too.”
If you or someone you know would make a good candidate for the BizTimes Bubbler Executive of the week please send suggestions to alysha.schertz@biztimes.com

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