After adding 46 new titles to its Little Black Classics series, Penguin has redesigned the collection’s interactive website. The original website, unveiled on Penguin’s 80th anniversary, received over 120,000 visitors in the weeks following its launch last year, and contributed to sales of over two million Little Black Classics. When Penguin recently added its new titles, the previous site design could not accommodate the growing number of books and designers Mathieu Triay and Matthew Young, who have worked together on previous digital projects for Penguin, teamed up with Claudia Toia to rethink the website’s design.
The new, simplified design echoes the way books are presented in bookstores, with some covers facing out in between rows of spines, and its the website’s monochrome aesthetic mimics the clean, minimal cover designs of Little Black Classics. As you click on spines, books turn to reveal their covers.
“We wanted to retain the playfulness and randomness of the spinner, but present the books in a new way,” explained Mathieu. “We also had the benefit of a year’s worth of feedback from the existing site – a common response was that some people just want a simple text list of all the available titles.”
Considering all of this, we set out to do something in the same spirit, but with a very different execution. We faced some of the same problems as the previous website – the duality of the cover and the quotes, and the necessity of being able to browse both independently – but we managed to find different visual and interactive solutions, offering a fresh experience for readers.
In the end, we made a more versatile website which better reflects the product and the brand, whilst retaining the playfulness and discoverability that this collection is all about.”