DeviantArt

Turning the art world upside down with revolutionary brand and product design

DeviantArt, the world’s largest online social network for art, approached Moving Brands to undertake a massive rebranding, as well as the design of a revolutionary new app.

An internet institution, DeviantArt had grown from a niche platform for sharing original Winamp skins to a digital art juggernaut with 32 million registered members, making it one of the largest social media sites in the world. Moving Brands was engaged to support the drive for new partnerships and aggressive goals for growth, working with senior leaders on branding, experience design and communications.

We’ve always had a strong community and sense of purpose. Moving Brands collaborated with us to create an amazing new mobile experience that elevates our art, and a brand that articulates the story that we have been trying to tell the world for years.

-Angelo Sotira, CEO

Objective

DeviantArt’s strength comes from it’s phenomenally large and loyal user base. They consider themselves a community, not a business, united in love and support of art and artists. In partnering with DeviantArt to redefine their core beliefs to enable growth, we were ever-mindful of their relationship to their community and the impact of changes to the brand and experience.

To guide these changes we defined and articulated their core story — “Bleed and Breed Art.” This is a bold promise and challenge from the world’s largest collective of digital art and artists to nurture creativity and spread art throughout the world.

That single declarative statement drives every brand initiative. From vetting potential business and sponsorship opportunities to launching a new app and a refreshed web experience, the criteria for judgment is always “will it bleed and breed art?”

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Approach

The logo is a careful evolution of their existing mark and a literal representation of their desire to turn the art world upside down. This is further articulated with a unique brand pattern made from the symbol that reveals the both the right side up and upside down “A.”

The identity system allows the characteristics of the DeviantArt community to shine —a kindred sense of family and belonging, and the magnetism of a truly addictive art experience.

Angles within the system are derived from the 62° angle of the symbol, including brand typography and a fully customized iconography set for the website and the mobile app. Symbol crops were used to create containers for content and communications.

The brand’s color palette was evolved to present art in its best light. The hero DeviantArt Green was made more vibrant but used sparingly for effect and highlighting, while carefully selected dark neutral grays are used pervasively to showcase art. Color choices were made in tandem with the app development to be optimized for the mobile UI.

The individual elements of the identity system are further detailed, and available to download, on a launch microsite co-created with Moving Brands.

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Results

DeviantArt launched their new brand on December 4th with a microsite and films created by Moving Brands. The brand launch was followed a week later with the long-awaited DeviantArt Mobile App (available on both iOS and Android).

DeviantArt had not yet entered into the app world; with more of its users accessing the site from mobile devices and eager for a suitable platform, the stage was set and the audience primed for a revolutionary new mobile experience.

Design of the app started with a comprehensive mapping of personas and the creation of its architecture, which ultimately guided the app’s features and functionality. Purposefully designed in tandem with the rebrand, we set the foundation of the user experience and UI with wireframes and motion studies that applied the look and feel of the brand system into the behaviors of the mobile experience.

Throughout the engagement, we’ve elevated the art in every possible application – from the app, to the identity system, to brand communications – so designing for artists always comes from artists. It is the perfect articulation of Bleed and Breed Art, right down to ensuring that all artwork used in brand communications is credited back to the artist.

See our full case study for the DeviantArt Mobile App here, and download the app on iOS and Android.

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