Princeton University Press
Bringing influential voices and ideas to the world
Princeton University Press (PUP) is a non-profit publisher deeply respected for its distinguished authors, academic rigor, and publishing excellence. At the core of their mission are ideas — ideas they have been shaping into enduring and influential books since their founding in 1905.
We partnered with PUP on a comprehensive redesign and replatform that brings these ideas to life on their website, creating not only a best-in-class digital bookstore, but providing context and original content that fosters community, discovery and exploration.
“AREA 17 has taken the proverbial blank digital page and animated it with an elegance that surpassed our expectations.” — Christie Henry, Director, Princeton University Press
As a publisher for many of the most influential scholars in their fields, and with upwards of 20,000 available publications, the foundation of the redesign is an advanced interface for browsing and searching the catalogue.
A powerful predictive search field helps visitors to quickly narrow their focus no matter where they are in the site, driving directly to the book, author or subject matter they’re looking for.
In addition to a similar search field dedicated to the catalogue itself, a comprehensive set of filters helps visitors quickly draw down to a very narrow field of study, limit the results by their preferred reading format, and adjust the sorting method for scanning the results.
PUP is renowned for their award winning book design, and the site reinforces the significance of each book as a beautiful object, packed with ideas.
Throughout the catalogue, the book images are large, with ample white space surrounding them, and are aligned to the bottom as if sitting on a shelf. When a book is selected, it sits in the very center of the page, with the information and details artfully typeset around it, evoking the beauty of a printed page. When a visitor chooses to buy or ‘look inside’ a book, the cover deftly shifts to the left while the page is recomposed with new information.
We set out to elevate this publishing community by connecting the elements within it — surfacing existing relationships and presenting opportunities to form new ones.
One way we achieved this was by organizing the catalogue according to curated Subject, Series, and collection pages, that provide visitors with additional context. The curated pages build upon the inherent associations between titles with sections that include ‘New & Noteworthy’, ‘Notable Authors’ and ‘Landmark Titles’.
Lacking in their previous site, we also introduced dedicated Author pages to the platform that connect visitors with the person behind the writing, and serve as a hub for that author’s publications and ideas.
Perhaps most notably, the PUP website is much more than its catalogue, no matter how rich and relevant the connections we introduced, but also an opportunity for authors and readers to connect with perspectives from within the organization and community. By engaging with the articles, history and resources published by the Press, a deeper conversation is initiated.