The Curationist is a free online tool that allows you to search over 4.4 million artefacts and cultural objects.
The Curationist aims to simplify access to over 4 million digital images of artwork and cultural artefacts for free. We aimed to make it even simpler and easier to use. And beautiful too.
Every artwork you see in the Curationist lives in the public domain. The Creationist build its phenomenal database of over 4 million units by leveraging Galleries' open data policies, centralising everything in one platform for ease of consumption.
With this free-to-use mantra that embodies the Curationist, we chose to keep this vision alive and opt for a free-to-use font. Everything you see is literally free. If you are wondering, it is Inter. If you are not wondering, it is Inter anyway.
How do you search for 4 million entries? How do you grasp the cheer mount? That's an unfathomable quantity of art pieces. How do you even know what to search for? This is the problem Google Search solves that you can't get elsewhere: you know that whatever you throw at it, you'll always find something usually useful in return. That's why we all fall back on it.
Anyway, in the Curationist, we wanted to mimic this Google-like feeling. We wanted to make searching helpful for both the savvy and random curious ones. In other words, for those who know how to search and for those who don't.
Everything starts and ends with a search bar. Fewer clicks, less noise, and one single focal point. Users can write whatever. The search term acts like a filter, being placed as a search tag. More search terms mean more filters (tags) applied. To refine a search term? Forget about erasing and re-typing the entire search, simply remove a tag.
There are filters too, we should say. But the cool thing is you won't notice the difference because they behave exactly like searching: for each filter, one new tag is added.
We, as Designers, tend to try to control every graphic element. In a way, we are control freaks, trying to care for the cleanliness of the Design. By carefully defining how things should work and look and controlling sizes and ratios, we impose limitations that deter projects from becoming an utter mess over time.
“The prototype is amazing, thanks all for your hard work and attention to detail — I’ll be proud to share.”
Platform Director at Curationist
This time around, we were dealing with art pieces. One cannot simply change Monalisa's ratio and try to get away with it. We had to stay true to the ratio, live with it, and make the Design work beautifully.
Even though it seemed like a limitation, it became a feature rooted deep into the Curationist identity. From the Gallery page to the 404, this Masonry-like grid defines the Curationist.
Everybody can have a profile. Anybody can create collections. Everyone can make them public or private. Creating collections allows you to store your preferred artwork, cultural objects, and articles. Well, anything you find, really.
Now, the cool thing is you can create collections on the fly. In other words, you don't have to navigate all the way to the Collections page, create a collection, and go back to where you were – you might as well do it where you are.
As we all know, creating a design system is halfway to getting it done. Creating a beautiful design system is how we get it done. Consistency is the only way that makes sense for us to design and develop a product.
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