As Partner, Vice President, and Creative at LG2, Nicolas Baldovini has amassed years of knowledge in developing digital experiences to engage audiences thoughtfully. In his everyday life, he works on leading LG2’s creative vision in their digital outreach and branding, and on leading their design and architecture practices. He’s also one of the latest to join The Webbys’ judging body, the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS). We spoke with Nicolas to find out more about his expertise in digital UX and design, as well as what he’s looking forward to seeing from this year’s Webby Awards entries. He even gave us a peek into his outlook on the future of digital and projects that recently left him inspired.
For those who don’t know, tell us a little about your background.
I was born in Corsica and emigrated to Canada in 2008. I’ve been working in the design and digital world for more than 15 years. I was lucky enough to start my career in North America at Nurun before they joined the Publicis network. It was an incredible time for the agency, with 14 offices around the world. It was an opportunity for me to work on several international projects, win numerous awards and grow both on the personal and professional level. It was also during this time that I collaborated with the agency Odopod – named Small Agency of the Year by AdAge in 2009 – which was acquired by Nurun in 2011. This agency inspired the rest of my career and shaped my current creative vision. In 2014, I joined LG2, an independent Canadian creative agency where I co-created the Digital Experience group. Over the past 5 years, I’ve had the opportunity to lead the group’s creative vision and position it as a national leader while making a mark internationally. Today, I am a Partner, Vice-President, Creative, at LG2. I am responsible for the creative vision for the agency’s digital, branding and design, and architecture practices.
What particular expertise are you bringing to the Academy?
My design expertise is varied and I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate on a great variety of projects. In the early 2010s, I really sharpened my skills on mobile apps while working on projects that combined digital and physical environments (retail stores, physical spaces). I think I bring a broad creative vision to the Academy, running the spectrum from UX to experience design and shaped by the technological reality we live in.
What are you most looking forward to about reviewing this year’s Webby Awards entries?
Several trends have emerged in our market over the last two years. Experiential content projects are new, and their appearance is linked to the pandemic, I think. It’s clear that today content has never been so accessible; endless information and entertainment is at our fingertips through websites. So I’m really looking forward to discovering content-rich sites that don’t serve a temporary purpose, but rather offer permanent experiences that enlighten us. I am also very interested in having a look at the mobile app submissions. Augmented reality on mobile apps is really gaining in popularity. I’d like to see it used in a practical way (like say in the medical field), not just to entertain.
What creative work on the Internet has recently inspired you, and why? (It can be a campaign, experience, film, social series, etc.)
Two projects really caught my attention this year:
- Coastal World by Merci Michel: “Content is king,” “the power of content”… We’ve heard these expressions so many times in the past few years. For me, this project is this idea done right. We’re talking about educating and promoting digital banking products to people within a colourful world filled to the brim with content, illustrations and animations. It’s a truly world-class effort. My only question about these kinds of platforms or experiences is their long-term viability. I’d love to know if this experience is persuasive enough to get many people to come back.
- Moooi by Build in Amsterdam: With its “Portal,” Moooi creates an immersive environment, fashioned as four interior moods, where the worlds of design and technology intersect. I love the idea of associating product launches, spatial design and technology together. It’s the kind of project that makes me envious because we often try to link and synthesize our various areas of expertise to obtain this degree of immersion. The project feels very brand-driven through its multiple touchpoints: website, physical installation, animations and visual projections. The synergy between these brands creates something never before seen.
What emerging technology or trend do you think will have the greatest impact on the creative industry?
I don’t know if it’s going to have the impact that everyone is predicting, but I’m increasingly amazed at where the Metaverse is going and especially how quickly it’s unfolding. Sometimes I feel like we’re in a Stranger Things episode in the Upside Down when we talk about this parallel world and everything that’s happening around the trend in the creative industry. One example that really impressed me was Digital Fashion Week New York (https://www.instagram.com/digitalfashionweeknyc/). There is an actual audience for this kind of thing. There are lots of things emerging around the Metaverse, and within it too.