THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART Design & Branding TIM BURTON AT MOMA by Big Spaceship


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Industry Museums & Libraries
Media Design & Branding
Market United States
Agency Big Spaceship
Released November 2009

Credits & Description

Category: Digital Design – Websites & Online Advertising
Date of First Appearance: Nov 19 2009 12:00AM
Entrant Company: BIG SPACESHIP, New York, USA
Entry URL:
Agency: Big Spaceship (Big Spaceship)
Media placement: Website - Online - November 19, 2009 / Ongoing

Describe the challenges and key objectives
Our biggest challenge was to create an environment that draws inspiration from the artist himself. We also wanted a clean user experience that allowed for exploration of the collection similar to the Museums exhibition. We offered various ways to journey through the collection, which ranges from early sketches to rare paintings to influential films. A timeline separates Burton’s career into three phases. Filters allow users to view artwork by medium or watch exclusive interviews organised by theme. We also showcased footage on the making of the exhibition.

Describe the brief from the client
Long before Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands, Tim Burton was busy drawing, painting, sketching and building his carefully crafted world. When The Museum of Modern Art launched a major retrospective exploring the artist’s work, they approached us to reveal the exhibition in an interactive setting. Longtime fans of Mr. Burton, we created an environment that draws inspiration from the artist.

Describe how you arrived at the final design
We began with three design directions. The first two were focused on abstract elements of Burton's work as well as his use of contrasting colors, shadows and extreme angles. In the chosen design we employed a hands-on practice that Tim Burton is known for (stop-motion animation) and created model staircases with foam board covered in Spackle. We then conducted stop-motion tests, ultimately moving the models around a stationary camera. The resulting look, enhanced by hand drawn font and music by Danny Elfman, cast a mood that spoke to Burton’s dark, whimsical aesthetic and served as a gateway to his art.

Give some indication of how successful the outcome was in the market
The interactive experience will extend beyond the life of the physical collection, much of which was previously hidden from the rest of the world.