VSCO Is Leading The Curatorial Charge

by Jack Sommer

While museums and galleries are still the major leaders in the world of curation, the process is also becoming more democratized. The internet and technology is allowing more brands and individuals, to build their own ways to curate, collect, and present art. One company, who is focused on photography in particular, is leading the way in the field. Their name is VSCO (pronounced "viss-kow").

VSCO is most popularly known as an app for people use in editing their iPhone photos. Users can choose from a diverse range of filters, some free and some paid, that they can use to enhance their photos. The VSCO company started in 2012 by releasing this very app, as well as packages of filters for photo editing programs on computers. Both have remained a key part of their services. However, they have also been steadily expanding to more of a focus around their community. 

For a while now users have had their own "username.vsco.co" URL's which their photos they published on the app would go up at the URL as well. Here's what's different with their ecosystem compared to other social networks - VSCO doesn't deal with numbers. No likes or comments. They don't show your number of followers or how many people you're following (they do allow you to follow people, but just for your viewing pleasure). It's about the art.

VSCO is more than just an app, they are an art and tech company empowering artists through tools and connection. 

Beyond the technological aspects, they are trying to keep moving in a direction more and more about community and people. Especially so in the worlds of curation and collections. One of their first steps in this process started in February of 2014 when VSCO launched their Map and Image Search feature, which has allowed people to discover images in the context of locations around the world. 

This past summer, they also allowed people to curate their own collections and they unveiled the opportunity for people to republish photos from other people. This has also opened up the field for brands to curate their own collections. VSCO has been doing this on their own with their company Journal and Collection pages for a while now, but this allows everyone to become more involved. Recently, they also launched a "VSCO Originals" feature where they are releasing different editorials of themed series where people can view the collections through a page on the VSCO site that feels like a highly curated digital magazine.

We really enjoy and appreciate the clean and minimal look of these collections, and how VSCO highlights their own content and the quality photography of their users in a very organic, natural, and subtle way.