When Esquire was developing their full page archive, featuring every story from every issue, they understood that the volume and breadth of their content was daunting. Their team envisioned creating a blog-like recommendation site to wrap the archive, surfacing timely, curated highlights according to the season and current events. Paired with the chronological issue database, this product would provide unlimited access while remaining navigable and low-effort for the reader.
They brought Cantilever in to create and brand this site. We worked from the early stages of the project with editor Tyler Cabot and his colleagues at the magazine to outline a pricing model and business strategy, create an intuitive UX, and develop a visual aesthetic that was vintage Esquire.
We helped Esquire to derive the Classic brand name and copy tone, then provided a visual identity to reflect the characteristics we observed. Since Classic provides access to new issues (before it’s even in the mail), it was important to keep the brand fresh and modern while respecting the wealth of historical content available through the service.
The innovative archive software was created and populated by Bondi Digital. We developed our site to use their APIs and embeddable player, partnering closely to ensure that the final result was cohesive. Payment (Classic costs just $4.99 a month) is handled by Piano, and we worked with their development teams to implement their software optimally.
The final result is a new notion in digital publishing: eternal, essential content, edited and curated so you know what to read today. We were thrilled to be a part of such an intriguing project.