Granta magazine has roots as a political journal as far back as 1889. Granta was reincarnated as “the magazine of new writing” by Bill Buford in the 1970s, and recently celebrated the publication of its 101st issue. This issue was not only a landmark achievement, but also the first under the editorship of Jason Cowley, appointed in 2007 by new owner Sigrid Rausing.
Whilst a publishing project, the reinvention of Granta’s web presence to coincide with a reinvigorated magazine (redesigned by GTF and the Observer’s Carolyn Roberts) brought its own new challenges. How to open up the magazine content (and phenomenal archive) to a new, international, web-literate audience? How to add value to existing subscribers whilst building new ones? How to deal with the brand architecture of the magazine and the books imprint?
It was imperative we relaunched a site to coincide with the new look of the magazine, so we agreed on a two-pronged strategy. Phase one launched in April 2008 to coincide with the publication of Issue 101, and features the new look, a stripped back archive, a new “Online Only” section of (often multimedia and photographic) content exclusive to the web, but often in support of the magazine features.
Phase two launched in Spring 2009, and is much more ambitious in terms of features and content. The full archive of 100 issues has been digitised, and will be made available over time, both online and in RSS. There are also back issue sales, online subscriptions, and lots more.
In the months since the launch of phase one, Granta has become a vital part of the increasingly dispersed online literary scene. With some wildly popular articles – from the Web Habits of Highly Effective People, to an exclusive interview with Charlotte Roche, Granta has proven than a literary magazine can make for a brilliant, popular, successful, and commercially triumphant web site.
“Apt Studio has built a brilliant site. At all times their help and professional guidance helped us avoid the many pit falls that can trip up any company as they embark on what is a necessarily complicated and costly endeavour.
“They successfully understood and interpreted what we wanted and translated it into a great looking, fully functional site that is attracting high levels of traffic and great comments. It is a resounding success for us as a business and as a magazine.”
David Graham, Managing Director, Granta.
Client: Granta Magazine.
Producer: Peter Collingridge.
Design: James Bridle.
Programming: Alex Fiennes & Guy Bolton King
More projects for this client: Granta Publications