Web and Interactive Design

The Wexner Center Online Store interface, designed by Tim Jacoby

The Online Store makes direct allusions to the architecture of its real world counterpart: Colors, materials, and the ubiquitous grid.

The Wexner Center Store: Design, Meet Architecture

COLUMBUS—When architect Peter Eiseneman broke the rules with his deconstructivist masterpiece, the Wexner Center for the Arts quickly made a name for itself as a cutting-edge contemporary arts center and as one of the country’s best places to shop for arts-related media and products. The Wexner Center Store stocks thousands of books on topics ranging from film/video to painting, the performing arts, architecture, photography, and theory and criticism. In addition, they offer unique items for the home, hard-to-find film titles, jewelry created by local artists, unusual children’s toys, and Apple products.

The visual redesign of the Store website makes allusions to the square module used in the brick-and-mortar store, including the custom glass showcases, shelving, and wooden panels lining the walls and additional references to building materials, such as stainless steel, glass, oak, and black wooden laminates. The 6 × 2 grid of the website is filled with graphics of available products and the designer can create new layouts by choosing from a variety of product shots. This simplification allowed for quick and easy updates, with greater extensibility.

In the redesign, a focus was placed on creating a site with simpler information architecture, a more aesthetic user interface, and more conventional browsing and checkout features. Interior pages were organized to allow viewers a succinct view of available products with full descriptions, including title, publisher, and publication date, all presented at sufficient size and resolution for easier viewing.

This version of the site was first published in 2006 and ran until its replacement in 2011.