Stamen Design

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I came across this site when Sean McDonald forwarded me a link to SF MOMA’s brilliant new site “SF MOMA ArtScope”. (Which, while, functionally, it takes a little while to figure out, the feature-packed design makes it an absolute pleasure to navigate and learn about the collection of modern art on the left coast).

Here’s what SF MOMA has to say about the ArtScope:

The SFMOMA ArtScope is designed for wandering, for the chance discovery of artworks you might not have encountered before. This visual browsing tool features more than 3,500 objects from our collection, arranged in a continuous, map-like grid. Zoom in on an eye-catching image, search by keyword or artist, or just have a look around. In any case, we suspect you’ll see our collection in a different light.

I’m most intrigued by Stamen’s mission statement on their about page, which includes: The studio’s portfolio is not easy to classify, but is characterized by a loving engagement with the media we are working with and a deep involvement with our collaborators. At Stamen’s core is a commitment to extending our understanding through research projects. Our client work is full of opportunity for invention and discovery, and suggests inspirations beyond the immediate task at hand.

Their mentality of “collaborating” with clients, vs. providing client services, mirrors the mission we strive for at my company and the work they create together shows a real understanding of this process and its rewards. Truthfully, as judged by their own portfolio site, Stamen Design is more of a strategy and development studio. But if they continue to produce work such as ArtScope, they can call themselves whatever they like. Besides, we’re a design studio, and we only developed the MoMA Staff site and intranet here in NYC (Swiss design maven, Tina Roth-Eisenberg of Swiss Miss created its beautiful design).

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