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Art-world sanity and accuracy start here.

In the art world, data is scattered and haphazard. One source says one thing, one source says another. Mistakes are made, copied, perpetuated. When will the madness end?

Now, actually.

BlueLabel is an online subscription-based database providing accurate and comprehensive information on works of art. It is nothing short of a revolutionary development in the art world. With BlueLabel, information starts with the artist, who can register any or all artwork-related data, including high-resolution images, text, audio files, video files, sketches, and notes. Following certification by the artist this data becomes locked and unalterable, and viewable by other BlueLabel subscribers.

In addition, BlueLabel enables artists to track inventory and works on consignment, manage purchase records, and generate schedules of insured items, all in a completely private online environment. Subscribers can exchange art information privately with other BlueLabel users, browse artists and artwork, create virtual collections, and maintain blogs of art-related activity. With all of these features, BlueLabel is built to appeal to the entire art world—artists, galleries, museums, estates, dealers, academics, auction houses, collectors, and insurance companies.

BlueLabel is founded by former gallerist Anne Faggionato, whom we met several years ago. She came to us last year with her top-secret idea, and asked us to design the identity for BlueLabel. Working from a sketch on the back of a hotel coaster, we developed a form that combines to build logos for BlueLabel’s three categories of artwork: Blue Label (artist-certified information), Purple Label (estate-certified information), and White Label (member-contributed information not certified by artist or estate, viewable only by invitation).

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The BlueLabel labels

To illustrate the contexts of BlueLabel’s usefulness, we art directed a series of images, and shot with photographer Mark Mahaney. As BlueLabel is founded on information that originates with the artist, we started with an artist studio. These shots needed to do their job in a generic way, communicating context without specifically recognizable elements.

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Visualizing the contexts of BlueLabel’s usefulness: the artist studio. As the main concept of BlueLabel is that art information starts with the artist, we’re using this image as the primary one.
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Artwork in transit
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An artwork archive (purchased image)
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At auction: an art handler named Steve
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The ledger, a form of art-world data registration soon to be officially obsolete
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The library, an icon of data storage (purchased image)

To illustrate the chaos before Blue Label in a lighthearted and informative way, we worked with web developer Studio Mobile to create a short animation. The story follows an artwork as it travels from the artist to various characters throughout the art world, its title, artist name, and date of creation changing with each exchange. The animated characters in the short also make periodic cameos in the main website, which Studio Mobile built with us.

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The characters of the art world, appearing in BlueLabel’s animation and on its website