The Art Students League is the oldest art institution in the United States. Through a highly collaborative and iterative process, Greater partnered with their marketing team to design how they could become a digital-first organization. This transformation began with their website, where we introduced new experiences, streamlined communications, and faster internal site operations.

The History

Founded in 1875, The Art Students League of New York is one of the oldest art institutions in the US. Born from the simple notion, that fine art education should be accessible to all. Although many artists study at The League full time, there are no degree programs or grades. The League has historically been recognized for its broad appeal to both amateurs and professional artists. Its legacy follows with the countless historically important artists that make up its alumni and instructors.

The Prompt

The Art Students League approached Greater with a sole desire – to make sense of their clunky and massive website.  Quickly into our discovery phase with them, we realized that this site was not designed with longevity in mind. Instead new pages were clearly added over the years with disregard to older ones, causing countless broken links and disorienting navigation; as well as page layouts that felt more like verbose word documents than an informative website.

The question we kept asking ourselves was, can this institution continue to thrive for another 150 years in this ever-changing digital landscape.

The Brand

First step was making sense of the artwork on the site. Pulling inspiration from the many artists who roamed these walls over the past century and a half, we wanted to incorporate more of a human element into the site. Showcasing artwork and photography through the institutions history.

For an institution like The League that values access and diversity with the highest regard, we felt it was important to ensure that the site followed the accessibility standards for colors and type.  Doing a dive into the color palettes provided by The League, we adjusted the palette accordingly to recognized color accessibility guidelines.

The Solution

As we dissected the site, it was revealed that the most important and most trafficked areas of the site were not necessarily the easiest to access. We proposed a plan of tackling the most important pages with a first phase iteration and then continuously roll out the secondary pages shortly after.

After the new site map was established, we quickly dove into the wireframing stage. This proved to be a critical moment in the process for the team at The Art Students League, as we introduced creative ideas to organize large catalogs of information and guide the user through the pages.  One key example of this, was the combination of events, exhibitions, and fundraisers on the site into one large calendar feature.  This calendar allows users to be able to see all the many events The League hosts in one place, in chronological order, making visiting The League much more approachable.


Business Strategy
Design System
Digital Strategy
Web Design
User Experience