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Interactive Annual 16:
self-promotion

JosephCanzani.com

Launch Live Site

“One of the best uses of video I’ve seen in a long time—a virtual personification of this artist, teacher and clearly colorful character that enables visitors to experience what it was like to be one of his students.” —Rachel Pasqua

“A fresh and engaging way to tell a biographical story. What works so well are the exposed topics which themselves tell a story and entice people to engage with video.” —Ingrid Bernstein


Overview: Joseph Canzani, the former president of the Columbus College of Art & Design, held the position of president longer than any other college president in the United States—48 years. When he died recently, the college wanted to honor him. Because it presented a truly interesting man in a very honest way, a four-year-old cache of video discovered by the college became a huge asset. Instead of embedding the video in a site, the site is embedded in the videos. A simple gestural navigation was put against full-screen clips, allowing visitors to nimbly skip betwen the video bytes and quickly get an impression of who Joseph Canzani was.

  • • The site launched, for a small audience of alumni, after a month in development.
  • • The nature of the content led to the navigation structure. The goal was to enable users to see the videos, play them and change them without a lot of explanation.
  • • The biggest hurdle was in reviewing and processing twelve hours of video footage.

Comments by Bev Bethge

Was the topic/subject of the project a new one for you? “The subject of the site was a new experience for us. We’ve never created anything that was at the very core, a memorial. We had to walk a fine line between too depressing and too celebratory (memorials that ask everyone to be super duper happy come off as disingenuous).”

What was the most challenging aspect of the project? “This project was not challenging in a traditional sense because our client gave us complete freedom; the challenge was having the weight of memorializing someone’s life on our shoulders.”

Is the audience you were targeting a particularly difficult one to reach? “In the past five years, CCAD has made great strides connecting with their alumni. This site was a perfect opportunity to reach out to them and give them a way to leave their thoughts as well as pass it on. It actually raised a good deal of money.”

How did your relationship with the client evolve over the course of the project? “After watching twelve hours of footage, you really, really know someone. The project felt like a continual conversation with Joe—even though he was gone.”

What would you do differently if you could start the project over? “I would have made the site richer by engaging more than the alumni audience. This is the true history and DNA of the school captured through a series of video clips. I wish current students had interacted with the site and gotten to know the former president of the college.”

Credits

Collin Simula, designer
Bev Bethge/Mark Love, creative directors
Ologie (Columbus, OH), project design and development
Columbus College of Art & Design, client


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