Printed Matter, an art book store located in New York’s Chelsea district and the world’s leading seller of artists’ books, needed a website that would be a platform equally for art and commerce.


 


Printed Matter, founded in 1976, has been at its tenth avenue location since 2005.

Printed Matter’s interior is “organized chaos” — visitors often report finding something new every visit


Inside, the store’s products are mostly identifable by their covers, letting visitors explore intuitively

The new site needed to cater both to people buying books as gifts for the first time, and seasoned bibliophiles and curators researching the archive of this storied New York cultural institution. In addition to being a store, Printed Matter is also responsible for the NY Art Book Fair, which attracts 27,000 visitors annually. Their website had to reflect the organization’s status as a cultural hub in both NY and abroad. Finally, it needed to be approachable for the thousands of artists who sell their books through Printed Matter: a real-world social network of production and consumption that began in 1976.


 




The homepage

Printed Matter’s new homepage brightly features its constituents through its main navigation: It has a catalog; it holds events; it does many things; it is a physical space; and you can buy its products. It also boldly highlights its novel “Tables” feature, which you can read more about down this page.


 



Search

Our search tool combines both regular and advanced search in a single mechanism. You can simply type in something and suggestions will appear below. But you can also more specifically search by using a handful of filters, those black pills that appear once you start typing.


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Checkout

The chekcout process is easy and streamlined. It integrates fully with the store’s current inventory. Users can create an account or check out as a guest.

 


Tables

Tables, the most novel feature of the new site, let PM Staff and users alike create visual curations of products. Next to the “Add to cart” button on every product page is a similar but different “Add to table” button. Adding a product to a table begins a collection — this can be something practical like a wishlist, or, the collection can be used to support an accompanying essay, for example.

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Editing a table is easy and fun. A draggable interface for positioning products and an object and color selector make this possible.


 


Catalog

Printed Matter’s online catalog is easily searchable and navigable. We wanted the website to act as a powerful tool. So now you can find what you were looking for if you were even looking for something in the first place; but like the store, you can also discover new books, artists, and publishers through surrounding content.

Each item is identifiable through a thumbnail and helpful metadata. Colored badges help further sort and identify items of interest.

On the site, there are 14,000 products for sale and a research archive of another 23,000. To see products that are out of stock and switch into archive mode, a “Wayback” checkbox can be activated.


All products open in a “pink lightbox” that lets users not lose their place while exploring multiple products.