We’ve been fans of Laurence King’s smart, beautiful and generally covetable titles for a long, long time. Friends of ours design books for them, and Angus Hyland (one of our clients at Pentagram) is LKP’s consulting art director.
Laurence called us in to talk about the redesign and rebuild of their website. Their old site had reached the end of the line, and needed to be integrated with a new publishing system they were putting in place.
We begun a planning process that laid out a full (and ambitious) web strategy and blueprint for delivering on the strategy. This included talking not only to many people within the house, but also their customers, key accounts, and authors around the world. We also undertook a brief, but insightful, competitor analysis, and included feedback from the interviews we had undertaken to see what features the site should offer. The competitor analysis showed that LKP’s brand was highly respected around the world, without the cumbersome or stuffiness associated with some other illustrated book publishers.
We encouraged an “open” strategy of publishing as much content to the site as possible, selling direct to consumers at enticing prices, but also leveraging their brand values from specific audiences. So academics, students, and the educational market are catered for in each genre, as well as with teh dedicated Portfolio imprint.
We also developed the idea of community: an area of the site that would be turned over to the users of the site to own. This area would allow visitors (many of whom are both students or freelance designers) to post links to upcoming events or exhibitions, or their portfolio. All community posts can be moderated, or commented on by other visitors, and there are also a number of blogs from the distributed editorial board of LKP.