Having previously worked with Penguin Books to redesign the The Snowman & The Snowdog website, we were approached in December 2013 with the exciting opportunity to help design and build a new website for the legendary Penguin imprint, Pelican Books.
The brief was to create a website that was both accessible and distinctive — the two pillars of the Pelican Books brand, and that included an in-browser reader so users could purchase and read any number of Pelican publications across different desktop, tablet and mobile devices.
We built the site to be as simple and easy to use as possible. We worked closely with the team at Penguin Books on the visual look and feel of the site ensuring that any unnecessary visual clutter was stripped out and key functions were kept as straightforward as possible. Much of the emphasis for the project was placed on creating a unique reader experience, so particular attention was paid to the type hierarchy and styling, whilst additional functions, such as text highlighting, text-size customisation and sharing, were built in to improve the overall user experience.
The aim of the project was to bridge the gap between conventional eReader devices and modern web browsers. It had to be flexible and beautiful – even in the code. Our technical decisions were made with the understanding that we needed a versatile foundation that could keep up to date with the latest in web capabilities and also integrate seamlessly with .ePub software, which is currently stuck in a grey area between web technologies and device-restricted code for Kindles and other eReader devices. It needed to feel like there was nothing between you and the text – even to the most tech-savvy readers, who would be distracted by even the smallest discrepancy between browsers or devices, or slow loading speed.
We worked closely with Fiasco Design to develop the new Pelican Books website, which includes a custom-built in-browser ebook reading experience. We benefited from their user experience and design expertise, and they provided invaluable input into shaping the direction of the site. We always found Ben extremely responsive and helpful and a pleasure to work with, and highly committed to the success of the project, which made a massive difference. We look forward to working with Fiasco again in future. – Michael Jones, Senior Web Product Manager at Penguin Digital
You may, like us, be too young to have read those iconic little blue books in their heyday, but now you can delve into the wonders of human evolution, economics or revolutionary Russia via the newly launched Pelican Books website.