The Los Angeles County Museum’s main way of communicating with its public—the museum sees over 1.2 million visitors annually—was through an antiquated, hard-to-read, and user-unfriendly interface. Given that the museum’s contemporary brand was opposite of the dusty look of its e-mails,  it was time to work with the marketing department to completely overhaul the design of the museum’s e-mails.

The solution: a suite of five flexible templates that covered a variety of communications needs. The customizable nature of the templates also allowed for diverse content—from personal letters to GIFs to static images—to be inserted in order to meet the needs of all departments that send e-mail to constituents.

With the redesign came a new, more efficient email platform (Mailchimp), which required an institution-wide overhaul of process and structure for e-mail outreach. Since its launch in early 2014, e-mail open rates have gone up.


The new e-mail templates now better reflect LACMA’s brand and has been proven successful in outreach. Hundreds of thousands of e-mail subscribers receive LACMA’s message of art and programming—essentially bringing people all over the world to the museum.

With this project we  created a strong Museum-centric and clearly branded tool for outreach. LACMA can showcase art and programming and connect with ease with hundreds of thousands of email subscribers every day—bringing the Museum to people all over the world.

The design process for the email system took roughly six months, and continued after we went live with ongoing updates and training, as well as a development of a user-manual/style guide. There were several iterations of the design, and even a period where we played around with giving then newsletter a name. These were some of the ideas that didn’t make the cut:

collaboration, internet, lacma