Who is the Ziel behind the Creative?
Hi! My name is Troy Ziel and I have an intuitive knack for being able to communicate in pictures, icons and type across many different forms of media. When I’m not buried in pixel pushing or absorbing ideas from that cool creative zone I easily fall into, I’m doing something more… and I get that from seeing the look on client’s faces when something we co-created together just works. I believe great design and projects executed with heart and integrity creates positive impact not only for my clients but for the world at large and that’s the place I always like to come from.
I’d like to share with you how I got into design and then if you’re interested in seeing my other creative forms of expression (fine art photography & voice over singing) I have included links at the bottom of this page to those other sites.
My love for design began when I was a journalist for the high school newspaper and for the Eye section in the San Jose Mercury News. Through journalism, I discovered the communication power of well designed page layout. Starting at age 12, I delivered newspapers for 9 years and learned what it means to run a business and keep customers happy.
Employing my sales skills to help pay for college, I convinced the marketing department at Eastridge Mall to let me improve their outdated signage in exchange for office space and the use of a 54″ large format printer. My role as their part time in-house designer would prove to be a win-win for all. I was able to stretch my creative wings as well as have time for studies and the pursuit of my other passions — travel and photography.
As the son of an airlines employee, I had access to flight privileges that allowed me to travelfar and wide. These experiences broadened my awareness and filled my creative coffers. In the process of capturing my travel experiences, I discovered my love for black and white photography. As a result, I took 2 additional years of coursework and graduated in 1998 with a double major in Graphic Design and a B.F.A. in Fine Art Photography at San Jose State University.
With an extensive real-world portfolio in-hand, I landed my first full time job as an Art Director for Signature Wines where I successfully built the company’s brand from the ground up. I’m proud to say that company is thriving today — and still using the identity system I designed. After some time I decided to step out of the constraints of employment to venture out on my own when I got my first contract to design marketing materials for Symantec and their Norton AntiVirus Suites.
In 2005 I moved to San Francisco into a really cool photography studio with office space for my design business. I share the studio with two other amazing photographers and it’s really nice to be able to offer both photography and graphic design to clients that may need both. A great example is Haute Home linens needed their bedding photographed for their catalogs. I would shoot the product and then design the catalog. Singer/Songwriters would come in too who needed their photos taken and then their CD packaging designed.
I’m also happy to say that after 15 years, I’ve collected many wonderful success stories and I realize that my sense of success is defined not only by the companies I help, but also by the many relationships forged as a result of forming creative partnerships with my clients.
Thank you for visiting my site and for taking the time to hear my story. Cheers!
“I have always been fascinated by the power of a symbol, how a logo of an apple or a swoosh can bring a product to mind, or how a typeface can lend personality to a message. And how using the right combination of graphic elements in a marketing piece can compel someone to take action. This is graphic design and my passion.” – Troy Ziel, Principal ZielCreative