This spring, upstate New York’s Magazzino Italian Art launched a platform that makes it easy for anyone to view their impressive collection. Local design consultants Synoptic Office helped the museum enhance their international reach with a clean, intuitive platform that lets the art speak for itself. While this thankfully means you don’t have to make the trek to Cold Spring to check out the space, this resource is perfect for adding extra depth to a real-life visit.
Magazzino Italian Art launches a new digital platform that allows the Cold Spring-based museum and research center to make its resources available across the globe. The platform, designed in partnership with New York-based strategic design consultancy, Synoptic Office, gives Magazzino Italian Art borderless capabilities to achieve its ambitious goals for connecting people around the world through contemporary Italian art and culture.
“We are proud and excited to unveil a digital platform which celebrates and elevates Italian art and culture for people across the globe. The Magazzino mission has always been to offer accessible and compelling exhibitions and resources. Bringing that mission to life in the digital sphere, and creating an experience which transcends borders, is both a necessary and natural next step.”
A living center of culture
Located in Cold Spring, New York, Magazzino Italian Art is a museum and research center dedicated to advancing scholarship and public appreciation of postwar and contemporary Italian art in the United States. The nonprofit museum offers free admission to the public and serves as an advocate for Italian artists as it celebrates the range of their creative practices from Arte Povera to the present. Through its curatorial, scholarly, and public initiatives, Magazzino explores the impact and enduring resonances of Italian art on a global level.
Meaning “warehouse” in Italian, Magazzino was co-founded by Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu. The 20,000 square-foot museum opened its doors in 2017, creating a new cultural hub and community resource within the Hudson Valley.
Following a period of immense growth for the museum, Olnick and Spanu aspired to develop an expansive digital strategy that would make Magazzino more accessible for audiences outside of Cold Spring, whilst continuing to support the crucial work done on-site. Synoptic Office, having helped clients like Carnegie Hall, Julliard, and Artstor curate compelling and culturally resonant digital platforms, made for the perfect partner to bring Olnick and Spanu’s vision to life through design.
“Magazzino Italian Art is a living center of culture, and our task was to create a natural expansion of that outside of physical place. The ambition is for the Magazzino to be a truly borderless cultural institution,” says YuJune Park, Co-founder of Synoptic Office.
Park’s Co-founder, Caspar Lam, adds: “What we’ve given Magazzino is a digital hub to help them fulfill that ambition – one that reflects and grows directly from the strong roots they’ve built on site so that the important work the organization champions can engage audiences around the world.”
Timeless, strong, confident
The new Magazzino Italian Art platform builds on the graphic identity created by Waterhouse Cifeuntes, continuing the use of timeless typefaces, including Plak Magazzino, a font inspired by Alighiero Boetti’s Manifesto, a striking composition that lists the names of 16 Italian artists flanked by mysterious symbols.
The site utilizes a strong and confident grid that brings uniformity to the design, as well as incredible flexibility. “Each section of the site serves as a pedestal to Arte Povera, a movement that transcends boundaries and simple thematic definitions,” explains Synoptic Office’s Park.
The color palette is inspired by Magazzino’s physical building. The concrete and glass—shades of pale gray and white—serve as a backdrop to the vibrant array of art within. All design elements reflect Magazzino’s desire to elevate the organization’s digital presence from touch point to immersive destination.
To increase accessibility, Synoptic Office led a reorganization of Magazzino’s online content, simplifying topline navigation into three actionable items: Learn, Watch, Visit – creating a seamless experience for audiences, whether they plan on engaging with what the Magazzino has to offer online or in person.
Synoptic’s Lam says: “This new platform will allow Magazzino Italian Art to strengthen its movement in service of Italian art and culture, and bring what it does best on site – host cinematic screenings, exhibit incredible work, provide bespoke experiences, tell powerful stories, and connect people through Italian art – to the global stage.”