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An interview with Rosario Valente owner, founder and creator of neotokio!

Author: Carl Heaton
He is our senior instructor and originally from Manchester UK. Carl teaches our Web Design and Online Marketing Courses.
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As I was looking through the awwwards.com site I came across some really impressive work created by the neotkio! project. I contacted them and they were kind enough to take some time to answer a few questions about the what they do and how they get such great results. 

That's the way we like it

As I was looking through the awwwards.com site I came across some really impressive work created by the neotkio! project. I contacted them and they were kind enough to take some time to answer a few questions about the what they do and how they get such great results.

1.Hi Rosario and thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Would you like to introduce yourself?

Hello and thanks for the interview. My name is Rosario Valente, I’m 35 and I’m the owner, founder and creator of the neotokio! project.

I have a great love of detail, things done well, design and cycling.

2. How was the NEOTOKIO! agency born?

peeling logo on egg icon

Neotokio! started in a room in my parents’ house on the 11th of January 2006.  I was 28, I had a Mac, a graphic tablet, lots of ideas, dreams, and very little money in my pocket.

Now I’m not 28 any more, I still have a Mac, a Wacom, lots of ideas and… very little money in my pocket 🙂

While at university I worked on and off for a few design companies and in 2006 they called me back to create their new site. I started off making sites in flash and in 2007 received the first recognition: the Premio Web Italia as Freelancer of the Year. From that point on my ideas were clearer and better defined and I took a small office in which neotokio! could grow. I had new clients, new ideas and co-workers with which to fulfill all the dreams I had. Little by little our work started to be noticed at an international level and in 2010 we landed our first big project which allowed us to show what stuff we were made of.

3.We found your site from you being featured on the awwwards.com site of the day. Has this had a big effect on your agency?

awwwwards site logo on grey banner

Awwwards is certainly one of the best tools for understanding whether the work you’re doing is done well or if you’re doing something wrong.

It’s also a great showcase to make yourself known all over the world.

4.What have been the biggest challenges of growing as an agency?

line graph and neotokio logo

The biggest challenges have been without a shadow of a doubt getting up each morning and opening the office despite everything and looking constantly to the future without losing faith in what you’re doing.

5.Do you think too many sites look the same?

nine grey lines and one diagonal black line

No, I think there are many common veins of inspiration, but apart from some glaring cases of plagiarism all sites are different.

Some may seem similar at first glance, but they hide very interesting surprises if you examine them more carefully.

6.Your agency offers many services including design, seo, hosting and maintenance do you feel its important for clients to understand a little of each area if they are setting up an online site for the first time?

speech bubble on text background

Certainly a knowledgeable client helps us work better. But in our case we offer these services in order to guarantee quick results that are in line with the clients’ expectations.

These ancillary services help us work better, avoiding possible complications and misunderstandings with other suppliers. We want our work to always be at the absolute top in terms of quality.

7.What tools do you use when you are creating apps for mobile devices?

screwdriver and spanner on faded iphone

No tools in particular apart from those provided by Apple.

8.What are you looking for most when hiring new talent?

grey info folder graphic

When we choose new talent we examine their portfolio carefully and we evaluate the refinement of their work and the determination which they display.

We don’t like work that doesn’t have character and personality. We also pay particular attention to the way in which they present themselves and if their vision is in line with our way of interpreting design.

9. Is there one particularly common reason for someones application going straight in the trash before you even look at a portfolio?

scored out trash icon

No application goes into the trash. Everyone who sends us a CV receives an answer, often negative, more because we have limited need for personnel rather than because of the of the incompetence of the candidate.

It seems a huge lack of respect to not answer those who contact us and hope to work with us. When we need to hire someone usually the first thing we do is look at the CVs we’ve already received and see if there’s someone suitable among them.

10.What would your advice be for students at Web Courses Bangkok looking to get into the interactive or website design industry?

neotokio and hand graphic

The best advice I could give students on the course is to have faith in their your talent.  Never imitate anyone, but bring out what’s inside of you and all the things in which you believe. There are no shortcuts or secrets as such. Do what you like and what best represents your way of seeing the world.

To learn more and see examples of their work head over to the website neotokio! and also check out some of the other sites featured on awwwards

Take your first steps towards awesome website design with Web Courses Bangkok.

Check out our web design beginner course for starters and we can soon have you building a stunning portfolio of sites to impress any agency.

It’s easier than you might think, read this interview with former students and freelance web designers in South Africa.

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