2015 Sydney Design Awards

spaces, objects, visual, graphic, digital & experience design
design champion, best studio, best start-up & best supplier
plus over 40 specialist categories

accelerate transformation, celebrate courage
growing demand for design

[interview] the project story



Silver Winner 

Project Overview

Micky’s Art introduces a new way to learn about, discover and buy art online – a responsive website that allows anyone, anywhere the opportunity to log on, be moved and inspired by art at any time of the day.

With plans to grow into one of the largest art collections in the world, Micky’s Art is an online space where the number of gallery walls, opening hours, entry fees and location don’t restrict the size of the collection or the access to great art.

Project Commissioner

Mickys Art

Project Creator

Cord & Berg

Silver Winner 


Cord & Berg are a specialised branding agency, enabling business leaders to regularly adapt their brand’s strategy with confidence and ease.

Using an advanced 5 step process, targeted at company growth, Cord & Berg create bold, innovative brands- equipping clients with the design tools and collateral they need to ensure customers are actively interacting, engaging and loyal to their brand.

Project Brief

Founder, and avid art collector, Michael Mancuso had a vision to re-invent the way people view and purchase art. Frustrated by the slow, often drawn out process of obtaining a piece of art, he wanted to build a website where people could have fun and utilise the support of an advisor to handle the red tape, price negotiation and shipping.

We knew the art industry was hesitant to change, and for this reason the site needed to be easy to use and appeal to a world wide audience. The aim was to create a process, and a culture, that even the most conservative art collector would be curious to try.

Micky’s Art did not have any brand design or collateral. With this in mind, we focused on developing a memorable logo and tagline for the brand, and then translating this bold, approachable look and feel across the website.

Project Innovation/Need

For most of us the art world is out of reach, and we’ve all heard stories about being judged for what you say or think about art. Our challenge was to break down these barriers without isolating the existing art community.

To encourage existing art galleries to be apart of the website, as well as attract a new audience, we needed to create a balance between a website that was bold, inspiring and fun, with an established business offering a streamlined, innovative process.

We did this by selecting modern, approachable fonts, colours and icons, keeping the tone of voice conversational and easy to understand and teaming this with a straight forward, considered experience.

The website was designed to be as intuitive and social as possible, steering clear of a formal gallery visit. With this in mind, we incorporated prompts and social buttons allowing users to share artwork and blog posts straight to their social media platforms. We then extended on this social experience further by using existing and understood social tools such as ‘liking’ to make saving or purchasing an artwork, an easy 1 click process.

Design Challenge

The main challenge for Mickys Art was to create a website that could work in harmony with existing art galleries rather than take over the industry – the aim being to encourage galleries and artists to show their work online, utilising the website as a tool to reach a larger audience.

For this reason, ‘Art this good deserves to be online’, became our tagline – keeping the brand approachable and highlighting that the website had only the best intentions; of making art more accessible, rather than closing gallery doors. We included a simple language conversion, to encourage a worldwide audience, as well as assure galleries and artists that this would be a worldwide platform.

We found the traditional online shopping cart scared off galleries and also users who felt finalising an art purchase online was too daunting, due to the cost and the various unknowns. For this reason, when a user clicks ‘request’ an artwork, they are contacted by a specialised art advisor who works with them over the phone to secure the best price and shipment for their chosen artwork, keeping the process personal.

User Experience

Micky's Art launched in late May this year, with an overwhelming response from artists, collectors, as well as regular people looking to be inspired.

During the launch, the team were contacted by several newspapers and Australian publications asking about the bold approach to the website design and the way the brand's process was set to shake up the art community. Galleries quickly realised that they needed to jump on board or be left behind, and artists started to contact the brand independently about being apart of the website to gain access to an online audience.

New art enthusiasts, experienced collectors as well as people not typically tech savvy, commented that the site was beautiful, clean and simple to use - confirming that Micky's Art is the future for buying art.

This award celebrates innovation and creativity in design of a unique user experience in the combination of text, audio, still images, animation, video, and interactivity content for websites. Consideration given to clarity of communication and the matching information style to audience.


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