Visuelle 3.0: A Chat With David Bennett
We're now at a stage in society when even websites can, at some point, make you feel a bit old. Visuelle's newly updated "3.0" version of the site, founded by creative director David Bennett, is now on that list.
If I squint hard enough, I can just about picture the first iteration of Visuelle. Like most design-focussed blogs launched around 2007, the site was simple; fitting two or three images on screen at a time, with little flourishes. But it worked. And we loved it. “I was in-between moving studios when I realised I had so many interesting bookmarks of creatives, designers, makers and photographers”, says David, describing the initial set-up. “I shared the links with designers I knew and it seemed to gain traction. I was hand-coding the site in Adobe GoLive, myself. Soon after, Dan (from OPX Studio) built a CMS, and for the 2.0 version, Sev made the site responsive".
Since then, like most of the internet, things have changed a little bit. New design mediums have emerged and searching through disciplines has become more important than ever. Not to mention the various social channels that gather their own audiences and require a specific tone-of-voice and attention.
So how do you distill that into a new version of a traditional website? And what becomes important to put in place? David explains, “I wanted to add filtering to the site, which I hope will help readers when they want to see just motion, for example... the C4D approach to branding and how we interact with brands has been the biggest shift, and for me, the most interesting and exciting. Documenting these projects and behaviours on the site will become an interesting visual archive."
One thing that hasn’t changed though, is the need for thoughtful and informed curation. David has spent well over a decade deciding which projects do or don’t make the cut. To this day, Visuelle is still a go-to resource for graphic designers, and what might seem like a distraction on the outside, becomes important to his overall outlook. "Creating a feature or post only takes 5 mins, so it doesn’t really have an impact on the everyday OPX Studio work. In fact, I think it helps the creative output as I’m aware of what is out there, and what looks too close to other studios' work".
Not only does the 3.0 version of the site showcase designers' work better than ever before, but it's also a considered bit of design itself. "One part of the new site that makes me happy is the pre-loader. I worked with a great illustrator, Ryan Gillett, who created our little [leg rotating] loading man. I’ve never seen an animated pre-loader like this so thought, let’s be the first".
For previous versions of the site there's also been a printed version available to purchase, and it sounds as though something similar could also be in planning this time too. So watch this space.
Most importantly, congratulations to David for a great site, and thanks for chatting to us. I can only hope I'm still in my 30's when version 4.0 drops.
You can see the Visuelle 3.0 here:
Their Instagram account here:
Their Twitter account here:
As well as OPX Studio here:
And Illustrator Ryan Gillett here:
Words: Joe Cooper