Gretel has designed a new annual publication to replace Knoll's previous catalog series. The result fuses high-end editorial design, strategic branding acumen, and technical detail, striking the right balance between inspiration and information to highlight Knoll's wide range of offerings and design-focused ethos.
Knoll Works is designed to serve as the primary print tool to be used by Knoll's sellers and dealers. As well as providing product information for the year, the annual publication will collect photography and stories that inspire and illustrate Knoll's expertise in workplace solutions.
"We set out to create a publication that inspires designers while informing sellers and dealers," commented Ryan Moore, Executive Creative Director, Gretel. "By featuring client collaborations, company milestones and designer profiles, the goal was to illustrate the breadth of Knoll's expertise in planning and product solutions for the modern workplace."
Each annual edition of Knoll Works will be organized around a different theme and 2020's theme is 'change': 'There is no one office of the future. There is only change.' This has only become more prescient in recent times.
To visually and physically communicate this theme, Gretel needed to showcase Knoll as an evolving, adaptable brand while preserving its legacy and history in the design space. First came a change in graphic language.
Knoll is known for its iconic color palette, modernist typography, and simple elegant layouts. To expand that language, Gretel broadened the color palette, expanded the range of typography, and created more expressive layouts.
Second, Gretel embedded visual and physical change throughout the Annual. "Each type of content has its own look and feel. From the letter from the editor, to the index, to short stories, feature stories, product pages, and Q&As, you feel change as you move throughout the book," explained Dylan Mulvaney, Head of Design, Gretel. "On top of that, each feature story has its own custom color palette, type treatment, and layout logic. Even the paper stock changes from heavy and glossy for the photographic features, to thin and uncoated in the informational appendix."
Gretel worked closely with staff writers at Knoll to create compelling features that highlight Knoll's expertise in workplace solutions, planning features that associate the brand with other leading companies (Google), institutions (Ford Foundation), and people (Jonathan Levine of Master & Dynamic).
Moving forward, yearly publications of Knoll Works will take the place of product and collection-specific publications, and Gretel's design of the 2020 edition will be used as a template for years to come. 12,000 copies of the Annual were released in February and are now in circulation across the country.