Laurence King Publishing

Laurence King Publishing

One of the world’s leading publishers of books and gifts on the creative arts

Laurence King Publishing was established in London in 1991, and is now recognised as one of the world’s leading publishers of books and gifts on the creative arts. Its books and gifts are acclaimed for their inventiveness, beautiful design and authoritative texts, as well as the care taken over their production. Laurence King Publishing celebrated its 25th anniversary in September 2016.

Laurence King Publishing

Content is King

For more than 27 years Laurence King Publishing has been making books and gifts for the creative industries and anyone who loves beautiful products. In doing so has filled many shelves with some of the best-looking books.

The company is constantly moving forwards, inventing beautiful, exceptionally well designed products (overseen by Pentagrams Angus Hayland) with authoritative text and some of the highest production values in the world of publishing.

Today Laurence King Publishing is at the forefront of the industry and continues to be top of their game.

Working in partnership with Laurence King Publishing we were commissioned to create a visually strong, dynamic and modern e-commerce website that functions across desktop, tablet and mobile.

Whilst recognising the needs of the organisation the site needed to appeal to a design-savvy audience and provide a seamless journey for the user. Whether they have time to browse or simply want to go straight to a product page and purchase an item, the process needed to be clear.

The site also formed a key part in building the publisher’s online brand. We wanted to ensure the brand, originally created by Vince Frost in 2001 evolved in an online format. A key feature was to use a centralised ‘K’ to reflect the way the brand appears on the spine of all their books.

Typography is clean yet modern. The main typeface is Lineto’s Brown (designed by Aurèle Sack), which features in the publisher’s printed collateral; along with Maison Neue by Milieu Grotesque as the supplementary typeface. Contact was made with the Paris-based type foundry who allowed us access and use of an older cut of the webfont that performed better alongside Brown.

The colour palette is derived from the products and seasonal trends and is customisable within the Content Management System (CMS).

Our new website was designed by the excellent people @playnedesign – we couldn't have asked for a better creative team!
Laurence King Publishing (Twitter)

The structure of the site reflects the core strands of the business: Books, Gifts, Children’s and Student. The layout and formatting of each section provide a distinctive tone of voice for each department and their needs. Editorial content enriches the users experience by revealing the people and stories behind the products. In addition to this, the site houses an expanded blog showcasing editorial content from the publisher’s archive and latest releases.

Books showcases the titles in the professional and trade list, the core of Laurence King. While there are some product shots, the homepage has an editorial slant, with full-bleed banners, combined with product shots and links to blog posts.

Gifts takes a more playful approach featuring lifestyle photography (art-directed in-house), combined with straightforward product shots, showcasing the publisher’s growing list of gifts, games and stationery. A gift generator helps the customer discover products according to price, age group and interest.

The Children’s section is designed to appeal to both parents and young readers. This is achieved by the use of colour and illustrations by authors from the Children’s list, including Marion Deuchars and Jason Ford. The products are categorised by type and age group. There is a separate Children’s blog which features interviews with illustrators, the latest children’s releases and downloadable activity sheets relating to the products. Parallax scrolling is utilized to enable characters from the children’s list to move up and down the web page, adding a playful element to the children’s home page.

The Student section is aimed at both students and lecturers. Key functions were to provide lecturers easy access to request inspection copies and for students to join mailing list. It features articles about the books as well as interviews and advice from industry professionals.

We worked alongside StrawberrySoup on the build ensuring everything was developed to specification, incorporating products via a user friendly CMS interface and integration with the warehouse.

We have since been commissioned to design and build a website for Laurence King Verlag; the German-language subsidiary of Laurence King Publishing Ltd. It publishes a select number of German-language books and distributes LKP’s English list in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Visit Laurence King Publishing.

We couldn’t be happier with the design of our new website. The challenge was always to bring the different aspects of our list together in a cohesive way – allowing both a focus on particular aspects of the list, while also presenting and strengthening our overall brand. As a creative arts publisher, the visual aesthetic of the site is hugely important to us. Playne approached the design with the upmost care and respect ... Above all, we thoroughly enjoyed working with the Playne team – and continue to do so through the ongoing development of our German site.
Eleanor Blatherwick, Head of Marketing