In early January, we were briefed on a highly confidential soon to be launched brand by Shutterstock. Shutterstock is in many ways one of our favorite brands to work with. They have one of the biggest success stories in a booming New York tech industry. SSTK went public only 7 months ago and, as of this writing, their shares are trading at over 150% above their initial public offering. They recently launched Spectrum, an incredibly cool platform that allows you to search for images via color scheme. They’re a young brand with a team of vibrant, creative individuals that continually seem to outperform themselves. This is why we were enormously excited when they asked us to help strategize the launch of their next brand, Offset.
Offset is expected to disrupt the high-end image marketplace. Their content team has painstakingly curated a beautiful collection of extraordinary images and illustrations and made them available to designers, creative directors, and entrepreneurs through a clean and simple online platform. Melee’s objective was to strategize the brand’s launch. Internally, our goal was to get hundreds of New York’s influencers hands-on with the content in a way that didn’t feel forced or overtly commercial.
With Offset, we recognized two things: one, Offset’s imagery is created by notable photographers and artists whose work is often shown at fine art galleries around the world; and two, Offset’s prospective users are their own curators – highly selective and with a very specific need. After playing around with a range of ideas, we landed on something that tastefully played into these two characteristics. We would create a fully immersive and continually evolving gallery exhibit that would be curated by the guests in real time.
It would be the first of its kind. In a traditional white cube gallery space, walls would be lined with large, framed, blank canvases. Guests would browse through Offset’s content on a screen in front of each blank canvas, select images and see them displayed immediately within the frame. The result would be a dynamic, evolving photo exhibit where the framed images continually change and update throughout the night.
We knew that to pull this off we had some serious work cut out for us. We would need to find the perfect gallery to host the exhibit, as well as develop the art direction, and fabricate frames and podiums that fit the content. We had to design and develop an iOS app that would house the Offset images and wirelessly send them to projectors when selected.
We were determined to put together a star team some of the most talented specialists in New York: rockstar developers, 3D mapping projectionists, digital strategists, art directors, curators and art consultants.
On March 27th, at Leila Heller Gallery, we presented Offset to a select group of a few hundred brand influencers, artists and journalists with a successful execution of our vision. We had Harley Viera Newton on turntables, and each iPad had a unique collection of photos assembled by disruptors in varying fields (Cliff Kuang, design editor of Fast Company; Annie Werner, arts evangelist from Tumblr; Liz McDaniel, Director of Brand Communications at Diane Von Furstenberg, and others).
The guests arrived and controlled the content throughout the entire night creating a dynamic, living and breathing exhibit unlike any we’ve ever seen. They left knowing a resource is out there that can bring this content to their fingertips, and it’s called Offset.
We want to thank Anne, Zach, TJ, John, Tim, Max, JR, Ricky, Aron, Steffan, Nathan and others for sharing our vision and doing everything possible to help see it come to fruition.
An enormous thank you goes to Shutterstock for giving us the opportunity to help launch an incredible new brand that will soon dramatically alter the image marketplace. We are proud to work alongside you guys and will continue to do everything within our capabilities to help you inspire a more visual world.