The Art Bank

Role
Interactive Designer

Client
Canada Council for the Arts

Agency
Jam3

Visual design and interaction
Collaborated with UX designer on wireframes and flow within the site. Other responsibilities include visual design, production design, animation guidelines.

Creative lead on production
Handled project communications with directors and producers, making day to day decisions and addressing feedback directly from client.

Our goal was to create public awareness and enthusiasm for Canada’s nation art treasure.

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Understanding our client's mission
Over 40 years ago, the Canada Council for the Arts created an initiative called Art Bank. Its mission was to raise awareness of the quality and breadth of Canadian art and make it available across the country and the world. In terms of what it’s done for art in Canada, it is in itself a national treasure.

The challenge our client was facing
The challenge it faced was that public awareness and enthusiasm seemed to be in decline. Their outdated and unwelcoming website was working against them. 

How we approached the redesign
To help the Art Bank regain public visibility and inspire action, we needed to unbury the artwork and get people engaged with Canadian art in new ways. We also wanted to show that government websites can be beautiful, user-friendly, and even inspiring.

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Connecting to people to art consultants 👩‍💼👨‍💼🖼
At the heart of the Art Bank are the consultants and organizers. They’re the ones who connect people with the art they love. We showcased their passion on the site, etching out a space for them to curate their own Collections regularly, to tell users about their art interests and qualifications, and to always remain just a click away.

The flow of the site begins with and art piece you enjoy and funnels users towards curated selections which drive them to CTAs that encourage users to get in touch with art consultants to inquire about the pieces.

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A tool for art lovers 🔍
In our conversation with Art Bank we identified two main audiences that we needed to attract: ordinary people who love art, and specialists whose job it was to rent art on behalf of public and private organizations. We addressed this by creating a search tool that engages both of these groups, allowing them to easily discover artwork. Users can also refine their search using filters, down to a collection, colour, medium or decade. 

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Speaking to all art lovers
The “My Collection” feature mimics the hearting, liking, and pinning that users have become accustomed to online. People can create personal collections in an intuitive way, speaking to art lovers of all kinds.

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