Case Study

New Art Love

In the words of copywriter Dave Demerjian, “New Art Love pushes through the elitism and exclusivity associated with today’s art market and offers new opportunities for users to discover, access, and connect with art and artists they love."

The first half of the day was spent in open con­ver­stion with New Art Love’s founders, Liora Beer (above right) and Kelly Sherman (above left) deter­min­ing their vision. We heard their story and cre­ated chal­leng­ing ques­tions, going so far as to play out several strat­egy and prod­uct sce­nar­ios. We con­tin­u­ally brought the con­ver­sa­tion back to their core val­ues, and in so doing codified their vision: “how can we bring artists and art lovers closer together?” Then we started making answers.

ben-spear-case-slides-04-55.jpg

The final name—New Art Love—is based on sev­eral factors:

  1. To most accu­rately reflect the organization’s promise of a com­pletely new par­a­digm for the inter­ac­tion between artists and art lovers, the name should feel as though it owes noth­ing to history.
  2. Since the orga­ni­za­tion is early in its devel­op­ment, the name should feel very open to interpretation.
  3. As the orga­ni­za­tion is made up of sev­eral recon­fig­urable memes (new­ness, the arts, and a sense of pas­sion), it should itself feel recon­fig­urable, non-linear, and unfixed.

The full pitch, included below, maps out the key con­cepts we uncov­ered and gives Liora and Kelly a set of word tools to sell and mea­sure their con­cept with audi­ences and poten­tial partners:


Where’s the love?

Artists thrive when they find a mar­ket for the work they cre­ate. Fans become col­lec­tors when given access to art and artists that mat­ter to them. But the cur­rent sys­tems for pro­mot­ing and sell­ing fine art are exclu­sion­ary and intimidating—they dis­cour­age the types of inter­ac­tions that cre­ate true con­nec­tions between artists and art lovers.

New Art Love is an online plat­form that allows artists and art lovers to reach one another in new ways. It brings social engage­ment to high qual­ity con­tem­po­rary art—allowing users to post, share, and com­ment on art, cre­ate col­lec­tions, and find local artists, gal­leries, and shows. It com­bines the online gallery capa­bil­i­ties of Etsy, the rec­om­men­da­tion engine of Pandora, and cus­tomiza­tion fea­tures of Pinterest. New Art Love builds strong authen­tic com­mu­ni­ties between artists and art lovers, both online and off. The plat­form allows fine artists to increase their vis­i­bil­ity, build their fan base, and grow their sales. For aspir­ing col­lec­tors, New Art Love pushes through the elit­ism and exclu­siv­ity asso­ci­ated with today’s art mar­ket, and offers new oppor­tu­ni­ties for users to dis­cover, access, and con­nect with art and artists they love.

Artists need art lovers, and art lovers need access to excep­tional art. New Art Love makes the intro­duc­tion, and starts the conversation.


The visual iden­tity proved a unique chal­lenge in that, at this stage, New Art Love is really focus­ing on its vision and lis­ten­ing to its audi­ence to deter­mine what it must become. We knew we had to weave in this ele­ment of con­tri­bu­tion some­how. We arrived at solu­tion designed around abject flex­i­bil­ity, a mark made up the four alpha-numeric char­ac­ters +!<3 where the plus sign indi­cates new­ness, the excla­ma­tion point art (as all art makes an impor­tant state­ment), and the last two char­ac­ters a heart, a con­ven­tion often used in text-only conversations.

ben-spear-case-slides-04-57.jpg
ben-spear-case-slides-04-58.jpg

The open­ness and obvi­ous nod to a new gen­er­a­tion com­bine to give this logo a sen­si­bil­ity that echoes the name: noth­ing owed to his­tory, open to inter­pre­ta­tion, and abjectly user-generated.

ben-spear-case-slides-04-59.jpg


A month later, New Art Love launched a location-based app (above) in conjunction with South End Open Studios.

Many thanks to MassChallenge for hosting the event and to Design Museum Boston for promoting it and providing video documentation (above). Thanks also to Boston's entrepreneurship community—particularly the members of MassChallenge—for your support and engagement during the day.