De-construct sketches out dynamic plan for MOI website

The Museum of Illustration has chosen digital media consultancy De-construct to design its website, following a competitive pitch.

The website will effectively provide MOI with its only home over the next five years, since the museum – which is due to open in 2011 – does not yet have any premises, nor any immediate plans to hold an interiors pitch.

De-construct beat seven other groups to become MOI’s sole digital design partner.

‘We were delighted that so many people are interested in making our website, and an amazing range of high-quality solutions were presented to us,’ explains MOI project director Flora Craig. ‘In the end we chose a consultancy that was prepared to explore and exploit all ways of showing illustration digitally.’

De-construct, which designed The Barbican’s website, plans to animate the site extensively, says De-construct business development director Dan Douglas.

‘The website will be heavily animated, with Flash used to get into the detail and under the skin of illustration,’ he says.

Douglas will lead the project alongside De-construct creative director Fred Flade.

MOI started up in 2002 and is the brainchild of Quentin Blake, who donated his entire archive of work to the museum.

According to Craig, ‘One of the things the Web design group needed to understand was that this will be our virtual home for the next few years, so it is really important that it does more than a traditional museum website. Most websites come after the building. We are doing it the other way round, before we have a permanent space.’

Craig hopes the website will have a global reach that will help it to build its collection of work before the museum opens.

De-construct envisages that once the museum is installed in its permanent premises – which Craig reveals will probably be in King’s Cross, central London – the group could be responsible for creating digital installations in the museum.

Douglas says De-construct is interested in experimenting with emerging digital platforms such as mobile phones, but adds that nothing has yet been decided. ‘The project is a blank page at the moment. We are pulling together a long-term plan that feels appropriate,’ he says.

The website will feature MOI’s current branding and logo, which was created by the Museum’s incumbent designers Bob Design in December. ‘The logo is timeless and very simple, so it works well with all illustration, both old and new,’ says Craig.

The website’s holding page, displaying basic information, will appear in August. A full launch will follow in the autumn.

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