We've had the pleasure of talking to JB Grasset, co-founder and creative director of Ultranoir. He told us about The Best Web Agencies in France. JB is a self-taught web designer, he's worked in the Internet industry for 15 years. He started out, aged 13, using pixel art on his Amiga, and he says 'that demoscene spirit will always be in his mind, passion & instinct'.
JB: I would not say that a “French touch” exists in web design but here is a list of of the most prestigious French (human-sized) web agencies and you will notice that the very high quality of their production makes France’s scene a very creative and recognized area all over the World.
As they often say, they are the most-garlanded French web agency and it’s totally deserved. From all the great projects they have done, I would choose the Nespresso Variations 2010, which is, for me, the most graphically advanced website ever made in France. Their real first test in HTML (2011 greeting card) is a masterpiece.
This studio has an impressive range of styles as they can produce very elegant webdesign and user experience like the Zahia or Wanda website as well as very original productions like Sexy Fingers. They are quite hot!
They always create very good productions but I was quite impressed by their new WEBGL experimental web site CTRL+ [P]aper. It’s always inspirational to see a website agency making such an effort internally to push web limits.
They have released one of the best Flash websites of recent years: Monet Exhibition. And with it they have revealed one of the hardest challenges in user experience: spend more than 15 minutes on a website. Can’t wait to see their first big HTML production. I would just change the word “BUT” for “AND” on their tagline.
This agency is specialized in cultural projects and web documentaries. They are also the only web agency I know in the world who run an art gallery and are movie producers. Content really drives their strategy. I would select Prison Valley, which is an interactive road movie about the American jail system.
Since 2006, they have always produced high quality websites with great consistency. For me, their latest production Societe Generale Musical Mecenat is representative of Uzik’s approach: clean and elegant layout, perfect reading grid, use of latest HTML possibilities… which means just a perfect user experience.
This studio (they are not a web agency) has a unique graphic and artistic style. They produce strong user experience that you will absolutely love or hate. Nothing in between. The Walking Dead website is one of my favorites.
They are recognized for their high quality productions (mix of 3D, illustration and web design with perfect animations), they mostly produce for the game industry. The Giorgio Armani Codesport website is a good example of their skills. They are really into Flash and I’m really waiting to see how they will apply their approach to HTML.
We're waiting for their new website, in about 1471234 seconds. Until then, you can have a look at their latest production: Opéra de Paris Season 2011 – 2012. I think they've created a very elegant/classical layout with very smooth and dynamic transitions and animations. This is the perfect balance for me.
Really love the simplicity and elegance of their new corporate web site. They also did the different versions of Fubiz, one of the best inspirational websites in the world."
This creative studio is made up of a bunch of great graphic designers with a strong sense of fonts and layout with a touch of originality. Check out 7 days of Havanna Club to see this in action!
Last but not least, Area 17. For me they produce among the most perfect web design there is in France. Better talk about interactive systems (as they say) than web design. They have a remarkable approach to using fonts, reading grids and information design. Their production has a strong personality but is accessible to anybody. That’s what I like. Slash is a good summary of what they do. Arnaud Mercier was one the most inspirational creatives in France.