Antenne Books by OK-RM, United Kingdom
Opinion by Richard Baird.
Antenne Books is a London based distributor of independent publishers with a web shop that covers art, photography, design, illustration, theory, writing, fashion and culture. Their extensive catalogue of books, magazines and journals includes work by authors and artists such as Matt Lambert and Lutz Bacher, and the publishers Lodret Vandret and The Renaissance Society, amongst many others. Antenne Books recently worked with graphic design studio OK-RM to develop a functional platform for displaying and offering their publications to a growing audience, and a visual language rooted in simplicity.
The preference for simplicity and functionality plays out well online through grid-based and responsive layout and clear navigation, and a continuity in the way publications have been photographed. The choice of typography, which juxtaposes a monolinear sans-serif alongside the detail of a serif, appears as an appropriate mix of contemporary culture and online accessibility, and the traditions of the printed word.
As well as an online platform, Antenne Books’ new brand identity also extends to stationery and business cards printed on bright yellow papers and boards, packaging that makes good use of the logo, and postcards that mix cropped images taken from their catalogue with panels of bright colour. Where there is a favour for serif online, in print, sans-serif dominates, an unusual divide that inverts convention.
Although adhering to an overall sense of functionality, the work is distinctive, has a contemporary character and a tone pitched just right for a distributor of publications dedicated to contemporary culture, is playful in its use of colour and in the creation of an AB.C monogram (AntenneBooks.Com) which emphasises a digital presence.
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