Over the next little while, we’d like to highlight some of the giants of the online Canadian creative community who help bring creatives of similar interest together through their words. We’ve profiled Heather Morton and Anthony Kalamut so far, and in this post we’ve interviewed Steve Zelle, a visual brand identity designer from Ottawa who runs the rapidly-growing branding blog Processed Identity.
Steve writes and curates on a variety of issues on the topic of branding, both on Processed Identity as well as on his studio’s website, idApostle. Processed Identity is community-driven and largely based on the insights and opinions of others, and has quickly found its niche within the branding-based websites of the world. Keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming opinion piece from Steve on appliedartsmag.com.
While we have a few others in mind, there must be a good deal more who aren’t on our radar. So let us know who we should interview next!
Without further ado, on to the interview…
What made you decide to start your blog?
Processed Identity developed out of my interest in the creative process, and the realization that it is being minimized and undervalued by many design sites, clients and designers. The site is an extension of a personal passion to explore how other designers’ work. Additionally, blogging can be a great way of throwing yourself in to the deep end, forcing you to rise to the challenge, learn, and grow. Beyond the subject matter, I am exposed to a variety of relationships that mirror experiences with clients. It can be a great training ground to learn how to better manage situations, opinions, goals and personalities. This has certainly had a positive effect on how I operate my own design company.
What philosophy do you hold your blog to, if any?
All work must be for a client — it can’t have been produced for some generic logo design site and sold as stock. This ensures the work inherently has a driving purpose. The other is to be helpful and provide something of value to the discipline of identity design.
How has your blog been received?
Processed Identity is community driven, and relies on designers and marketing professionals to contribute content though case studies, articles and discussion. From the beginning, I was fortunate to have designers willing to participate—sight unseen. For the most part, the design community wants to help each other out, and the majority of people I contact agree to be involved.
Ultimately, I judge its success by the willingness of people to invest back into the site. This occurs every time someone contributes a post, passes a link to a friend, or leaves a comment
What role do you think blogs like yours might play in the creative community, compared to the more traditional avenues of magazines, awards, etc?
They can offer an intimate relationship that traditional avenues struggle with. One of the best things about blogs is the volley of personal ideas, thoughts and beliefs by the community that visits. This relationship is strengthened by a bloggers ability to respond to comments immediately without restraint. Also unique is the ability and willingness of bloggers to encourage and help other design blogs. They often promote each other, share articles, and comment on each other’s posts, something rarely seen in traditional avenues.
Where do you see it going from here?
I would like to strengthen the focus on exposing the unique nature of each process; the quirky things that occur and make the project come alive. Strangely enough, I am really not all that interested in the final product, but rather the path that was taken to achieve it. The biggest change I would like to see is to have more client interaction, adding their thoughts on the topics we cover would be helpful.
And finally, what other blog would you like to see profiled?
I think the Design Influence blog is great. Isabelle Swiderski of Seven25 posts almost daily on topics related to design thinking and social change.