Mint’s new website is almost as inspiring as the museum itself

Find art, news, or an event you like? Click the “Inspiring” button and create your own “MyMint” page

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 31, 2012) – The Mint Museum is doing more than unveiling a refreshed brand and complete new website – it is incorporating aspects of the most popular social media features into a one-of-a-kind tool.

Up in the top right-hand corner at the NEW is a colorful icon labeled “Inspiring.” Resembling the “Like” button on Facebook, it allows users to identify anything on the website they find inspiring by clicking it – a work of art, a bit of news, or an upcoming exhibition, lecture, film screening, or children’s program. The information is saved to each user’s own unique “MyMint” page – much like the popular site Pinterest, leading some Mint staffers to affectionately call the feature “Minterest.” And more importantly, users can continually check to see what other users are finding inspiring, stumbling across things they might not have seen otherwise. A page on the site will visually rank items based on the number of Inspiring clicks they’ve gotten – resembling the way Twitter tallies its trending topics.

The Mint worked with nationally acclaimed agency BooneOakley on its new branding, featuring a refreshed and updated museum logo, new and inspiring communications platform, and style guide for museum publications, and with local web-design firm BigNoise to execute the site. Funding for this project was made possible with generous support from a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation grant.

“We’re excited to launch not only because the site itself is inspiring, but also because the people who visit are inspiring; that’s what makes it so special,” said James Martin, the Mint’s digital communications manager. “Too often, users visit sites, find what they’re looking for, and simply go on their way. Now that we’ve helped them realize their own inspirations, and even save them to their own MyMint page, their visit becomes an epiphany –­ a moment in which they suddenly learn something new about the art and themselves.”

Logan Watts, BigNoise creative director, said the firm aimed to create a clean and well-designed site focused on art, the Mint’s upcoming happenings – and more. “We are excited to see how this helps the Mint and look forward to growing the Inspiring application to new levels of social interaction,” he said.

Claire Oakley of BooneOakley said the agency’s challenge was to freshen the Mint’s image for the future without abandoning its admired past. “Our insight: the Mint is not only a place where art hanging on a wall can still hang with you long after you’ve left the museum, it’s also a place where inspired artists share their inspiration with visitors who, in turn, share their inspiration with others. From this insight, we developed a new platform that both respected the history of the Mint and delivered on the experience of visiting it: ‘Sharing Inspiration Beyond the Wall.’”

Added Hillary Cooper, director of communications and media relations for the Mint: “The Mint Museum is an inspiring and transformative place for everyone to engage and awaken their senses through the experience of art. Today’s launch of our innovative new website enables us to share inspiration beyond our walls and introduce the world to our museum in compelling and exciting ways.”

In a special promotion accompanying the site’s launch, the museum is giving away free memberships to users of the site. Anyone who uses the Inspiring button to create a MyMint page during June is entered into a drawing for a one-year Mint family membership. Users must have a Facebook account to be able to use the Inspiring button and MyMint feature. In honor of the Mint’s 75th anniversary year, one winner will be chosen for every 75 MyMint pages created (with a minimum of 10 memberships to be given away).

The launch of the new branding and website coincides with a transition of leadership on the Mint’s Board of Trustees from outgoing chair Richard T. “Stick” Williams of Duke Energy to chair-elect Jay Everette of Wells Fargo. It also follows the board’s recent adoption of a five-year strategic plan to bring the Mint into its next phase of national and international recognition. “This website is another step bringing the Mint closer to the goal of innovating and engaging the global community,” said Everette. “And inspiration is another core goal of the museum’s mission statement – a goal we have quite literally realized in the features of this website.”

The election of new board officers is scheduled for the board’s annual meeting, open to all museum members, at 5:30 p.m. on May 31 at Mint Museum Randolph. The meeting is to be followed by a community-wide celebration, Party in the Park, beginning at 6:30 p.m. and featuring live music and an outdoor screening of the movie “Hugo.” The museum will also open two new exhibitions, And the Bead Goes On, featuring elaborate beaded garments from the museum’s Fashion Collection along with contemporary runway fashions; and Heritage Gallery, a celebration of the Mint’s 75-year history as the state’s first art museum. The new exhibitions will be open from 5:30-9 p.m. on May 31 in special extended hours; admission to the celebration is $10 or $5 for members. (Rain cancels outdoor events).

MEDIA NOTE: The Mint Museum’s transition to its new site will be continuing throughout the day on May 31, and should be complete for all website visitors by June 1. Some online visitors during the day on May 31 may continue to see the old site for limited periods of time. Media members are invited to see a demo of the new site with representatives of the Mint and BigNoise at a media preview scheduled for 10:30 a.m. May 31 at Mint Museum Randolph; tours of the two new exhibitions will also be offered. RSVP to Leigh Dyer at to attend.


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