Last week I found out about a new and improved Gestalten.tv website launched to mark their three-year anniversary producing brilliant podcasts on the leaders, vanguards, innovators, players, and thinkers of our time. So we invited the team behind the redesign to tell us everything about the creative process behind one of the sleekest, most-up-to-date platforms to enrich your viewing experience:
With internet television on the rise, it made sense for us over at Gestalten to devote a channel to our complete archive of films we’ve been shooting since 2007. Though we’re known mostly for the 350-plus books on all things design-related, we wanted to create a sleek and separate platform that is as entertaining to watch as it is educational, and one that features our inspiring film portraits predominantly. The process took a while and some planning, but the feedback has been overwhelming. Here are some of the things we’ve learned along the way.
Choosing a candidate and topic that is more evergreen than just the latest fad is essential to the film’s expiration date. With our expansive network of designers and artists that we’ve featured in our books and worked with over the years, we’re not short of names. We communicate directly with the editors, who keep a 360-degree radar on all things visual culture, to feature people who are at the forefront of design that are making a difference. Mind the gap.
One of our most popular podcasts is with Dieter Rams, the German industrial designer and former head of design at Braun. He’s already considered a legend, and we had published his monograph Less and More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams earlier that year, in 2009. But a traveling exhibition of the same name and wide-spread recognition of Rams as a predecessor of Apple design, helped the film go viral online. A timely film is a good film.
Building relationships and trust with the designers we interview is important. They know, firstly, the quality of the film interviews we post. Second, we take advantage of our large network and experience as an established publisher. It’s important to utilize the tools at hand.
Create an experience
A good TV channel requires first and foremost a good platform and interface. If a user is scratching their head at where to navigate, or is distracted by flashing ads, that’s an immediate fail. We also offer our videos in HD since 2008, a bonus for most channels but crucial for us and the type of beautiful aesthetic content we feature. And our platform was designed to be as simple and easy to use as pie – you virtually never have to leave the starting page.
It sounds obvious, but you would be shocked about how many companies overlook the synchronized branding of their products. A bold logo and a few key words explaining the brand makes a dent in people’s first impressions of you. In TV, create a logo introduction that shows off something the viewer can anticipate. For ours, we pulled from the some 50+ fonts in our font foundry to create a quick moving image that cleverly utilized our own products while still being true to our company vision.
Spread the word
Social media and viralbility doesn’t just happen by crossing your fingers. Build quick “share” bookmarks, and upload the films into your favorite social media websites. Invest time into sending email blasts and uploading the videos to places where they will most likely get viewed. Send an email or twitter message to a person with a strong internet following – these people are always looking for fresh content. With any luck, you might one day surpass them with your own following.