The art market can feel like an intimidating space for aspiring or even experienced buyers with the price of primary market art a mystery to many.
The Limna team had a different vision. They wanted to put a friendly face to the art market – but one that sits atop a body of knowledge. Our challenge was opening the art world out to everyone.
With the world’s largest art database at our disposal, we wanted to equip buyers with knowledge, data and confidence when considering their purchases.
Our starting point was to gain an intimate understanding of the barriers to entry so that we could design Limna as the solution people need.
Our findings uncovered a world rife with elitism. Uninformed buyers were being met with inaccessible art speak from reticent art advisers. Gallerists had a reputation of being deliberately evasive about who they will and won’t sell to, keeping information purposefully scarce.
The sales process was viewed as high–touch, lengthy and time–consuming, but the biggest barrier to entry was confidence in prices.
We ran an extensive discovery process with the Limna team to work out their audiences, the best feature set to launch with and how we could benchmark against key competitors.
Digital Brand Identity
Whilst parallel marketplaces offered extensive databases, they lacked simple data visualisation to aid hesitant buyers.
Limna envisions an art market driven by facts and figures, but acknowledges also that art is a commodity driven by emotion.
Accordingly we ensured that the artworks take centre stage within the app, but we went one step further, making the data look so good it becomes an artwork in itself too.
Users enter information such as location, artwork size or budget when finding new artists or checking prices, and with these, each new data point is like a new brush stroke on a digital canvas.
Your search result doesn't just suggest an artist or tell you a price – it becomes an artwork in itself; a finger print of your interaction with Limna.
We developed a design system to bring truth and beauty together in a visual balancing act, blending pragmatism with personality.
With the design of the application we wanted to go in the complete opposite direction of existing tools and services out there.
Instead of having a very minimal approach to the interface that continued the trope of elitism in the art market, we chose to be as vibrant and playful as possible whilst retaining a sense of fact and professionalism.
We believe that the best way to introduce people to something new is to make them have fun. Rather than feeling like you're entering data into a spreadsheet, the Limna interface responds and morphs to your input giving you a sense of ease and delight.
A striking yellow acts as the primary brand colour to reflect Limna’s friendly voice, complimented by playful shades of orange, lilac, pink and blue to helpfully connote different data types within the app.
These colourful tones build upon a neutral base palette of stone, black, and greys that are used for backgrounds, text and supporting elements to ensure legibility and hierarchy of information
These colours come together in an interface that aims to transform the art marketplace into a delightful, accessible, and above all, trustworthy experience.
Limna guides people through the art world with warmth and elegance, offering reliable knowledge and transparent price validations along the way.
But to establish it as the app that inspires as well as reassures, we made Limna a place for discovery too. An intuitive search function enables users to find new artists, galleries and artworks that are inspiring and relevant to them.
Limna makes data work for people, not the other way round.
By creating a new reality in the art world through disrupting the status quo, Limna removes the traditional barriers that would otherwise discourage a wider audience from experiencing and purchasing art.
With over 100,000 downloads, 150,000+ validations and being used in 155+ territories worldwide, Limna is well on its way to building confidence in the art market.
"Companion were the perfect creative partner to assure that Limna landed as a true differentiator amongst stuffy and monochromatic art market brands.
Their commitment to our vision and business objectives, constant boundary pushing, rigorous methodology, and acute customer focus are all clearly discernible in the final product.
Working with Myles and the team led to a thoroughly thought–out and dextrous design system that traverses product and brand with style.
Limna has already made significant impact in creating a welcoming, aspirational experience, but the solid UX grounding and foundations Companion have laid mean that our own Product Designer can take over capably in future too."