Getty Images – Art to Product, Unbound by Choice

Back to Our Clients Getty Images

The Project

Build a product that supports the discovery and purchase of 100 million products.


Founded in 1995, Getty has partnered with hundreds of thousands of artists and photographers to facilitate the distribution of high quality, relevant imagery.  Opening their own archives to the world, Getty also provides access to much of the worlds visual history, including millions of licensable images.  The combined assets represented in Getty’s massive collections effectively drive the world’s ideas and commerce.

Our images move hearts, minds and opinions; they power commerce, ideas and perceptions. – Dawn Airey , CEO


In an effort to further leverage the company’s considerable assets, Getty partnered with New Era and Weidenhammer to develop an art-on-demand printing service.  For each image, we would enable transaction variants that considered size, framing options and materials.  The final product was imagined as a store that offered in the range of 100 million distinct art products, a staggering volume of data to manipulate in nearly any context, and one rarely attempted in e-commerce.

Project goals

  • Unlock a revenue opportunity by further monetizing an existing asset
  • Design an e-commerce solution capable of scaling to 100 million products
  • Integrate a variety of systems to facilitate end-to-end automation


Scale was the greatest challenge presented by the project.  Designed with the intent of providing merchants with a high degree of flexibility, the underpinning data relationships found in many e-commerce systems create lag at extreme scale (in this case, 2 minute page load times on the PDP).  To address this, we rewrote the presentation layer for discovery and product-attribute relations and pushed the relevant data to Elastic Search, a flat file alternative to MySQL.  The resulting product was remarkably performant and accessible.

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