Gretel and Knoll reinvent the furniture catalogue as a high-end magazine

Is the printed catalogue on its way out? For mass-market retailer Argos: the answer is a definitive yes, it's officially replacing its publication after 48 years in favour of in-store digital screens. But furniture design firm Knoll has taken a different tack, partnering with New York-based Creative studio Gretel to create a new, premium print product to replace its previous catalogue series.

The result is a delightful fusion of high-end editorial design, strategic branding insight and technical detail, striking a balance between inspiration and information to highlight Knoll's wide range of design-focused furniture.

As well as serving the basic function of a catalogue, providing product information for the year, Knoll Works will collect photography and stories that inspire and illustrate the brand's expertise in its specialist field. Each annual edition of Knoll Works will be organised around a different theme; this year's being: 'There is no one office of the future. There is only change.'

The brand is known for its iconic colour palette, modernist typography and simple layouts. To expand that language for the new publication, Gretel broadened the colour palette, expanded the range of typography, and created more expressive layouts. A total of 12,000 copies are now in circulation.

Ryan Moore, executive creative director at Gretel, says: "We set out to create a publication that inspires designers while informing sellers and dealers. 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."

Head of Design Dylan Mulvaney adds: "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 the change as you move throughout the book. On top of that, each feature story has its own custom colour 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."

Commenting on the goal of the project, David Bright from Knoll, says: "Knoll Works explores opportunities for change, showcasing our constellation of brands and workplace planning capabilities. The range of editorial content not only informs and inspires our diverse audiences but also identifies catalysts for innovation."


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