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Five Questions with Steve Kazanjian of The Content Project

By DMN Staff Writer
After four years at broadcast design firm Belief, Steve Kazanjian, a co-founder of the company, left to join The Content Project, a design and marketing agency that was founded 2 1/2 years ago as a web design and technology firm. The Content Project, with clients such as Turner Networks, Warner Bros., and E! Entertainment Television, has since branched out into print, interactive, and broadcast design. Kazanjian will helm the company's creative efforts in all aspects of media creation. DMN senior producer John Virata spoke with Kazanjian, discussing design and broadcast issues as well as the impact of other mediums such as the Web.

DMN: You have been with Belief since the beginning as a co-founder. Belief has enjoyed wide recognition for its work and contributions to the broadcast medium. Why did you leave to join The Content Project?

SK: I have always been interested in the "hidden language" between design and technology. The intersection of the two provides for some really interesting design opportunities. The Content Project provides an unrivaled infrastructure and incredible resources to stretch and explore in this arena. More importantly, Ill be able to once again focus on what I love doing design and expand this design across all media, leveraging the deep technology expertise that TCP has to offer.

DMN: Will The Content Project still embrace all message mediums--print, Web,TV, in addition to Broadband and Interactive TV?

SK: Broadband and Interactive TV are still in their infancy in the United States. The majority of The Content Projects revenue does and still will come from more traditional design--broadcast, print, and web. I am hedging my bets, however, that in the next few years we will see amazing strides in the world of interactive. That being said; you cant change consumer behavior patterns. We cant "force" the consumer into the world of interactive. We can, however, position ourselves for the demand when it comes.

The Content Project has also just signed on Chris Pagani and Dave Pagani, two former Belief employees to round our broadcast design division. With their addition we provide an incredibly robust and versatile design team than can tackle any project in any medium.

DMN: Is any content designed for one medium often repurposed for other mediums? If so, how are the media assets handled

SK: We never "repurpose" the design from one medium to another. Different mediums call for different design directions. How you interact with your computer screen is totally different with how you interact with your television or even a magazine. Great design needs to capture the essence of that medium and design within that construct. There are, however, definite economies of scale of handling multiple mediums for one client. We have a project in-house right now that includes a :30 sec spot, ad slicks, website, product packaging, and a DVD. Were handling everything from initial concept to compositing through authoring and coding. Its really wonderful to be able to have that much design influence on one product and be able to give true design cohesion.

All the media assets are stored on one central server. Clients are able to post to the site by just dragging and dropping assets into a browser window. We do the same internally. Its a quick and seamless way to work.

DMN: How would someone interested in getting into the field of broadcast design break into the market? How important is education in this respect? Are the theories and practices that are learned in the classroom critical for success in this field?

SK: Since broadcast design is a relatively new field, there are very few universities that have courses. Otis, Art Center, and SCAD all have great broadcast design programs and continually nurture some incredible talent. There are also some great organizations to get involved with; Promax/BDA, AIGA, MGLA, and The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

DMN: Given that the Web is a huge distributor of information, how is designing for the Web different from designing for Television and other mediums? Is there any specific computer platform that is used at The Content Project?

SK: The web is about designing information architecture. The subtle nuances of great design are seen through how the designer "plays" with human behavior patterns. Broadcast design has more classical packaging components to it such as understanding your demographic and creating the appropriate branding and strategy. Same programs, same systems, and many of the same design philosophies - but a very different application of your thought process.

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Related Keywords:broadcast, design

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