selling vintage products online

The Antique Dispensary – selling vintage products online

Over the years it’s often occurred to me that we should focus on design for one specific business sector stick to and specialise in it. However every time I resolve that is what we are going to do, a fabulous little project comes along and I realise, yet again, that such a notion is once more scuppered. So I have come the the conclusion that in fact that’s essentially unworkable! What it comes down to is that perhaps our strength (and interest in the jobs we do!) comes from diversity. 

A classic example of such an unusual ‘left turn’ project is The Antique Dispensary – an extraordinary online goldmine of beautiful antiques, selling vintage products online. We’ve just re-launched the site, replacing an original we designed and built back in 2012. That old site had lasted the distance but was created before a responsive build was something we did ‘as standard’ – and after six years needed a wide-ranging design and technical update.

So here it is – launched in the early days of the new year – a completely re-imagined Antique Dispensary which re-boots their online offering.

The Antique Dispensary – a new website selling vintage products online



Fundamental to this re-design was to allow for photos of many different shapes and sizes, but presented in as visually appealing a manner as possible. So we have allowed for all or any image sizes here and given them space and air to breathe on the page.

Another defining feature of the new design is its use of typography. We realised that this new site shouldn’t have an overbearing design layout but rather remain functional and let the products come front and centre. However it’s also not a corporate site and is thus the ideal candidate for a great, modern typeface.

We have admired SangBleu from Swiss Typefaces for a while and decided this was its moment, so purchased a license to use the face on the new Antique Dispensary site. This gives it distinctive headers and a quiet sophistication.

We also added new colours to the palette, updating the teal colour that we’d used before.

Finally, the site uses small animations throughout – a subtle touch so that when users roll over menu items and certain links there is an immediate visual response.

The Antique Dispensary – a new website selling vintage products online



More than just a catalogue, The Antique Dispensary is an online store.

That said, it’s one which works in an interesting way. Rather than a complex e-commerce system, the site uses a PayPal standard button or a more simple bank transfer system once a product is reserved.

This simple system is a smart (and effective) move for an online shop where items can have a considerable value and a trust between vendor and buyer means a direct, personal transaction is more appealing.

Additionally, many of The Antique Dispensary’s clients could well be repeat customers fascinated in the particular collection that is on show here. Indeed, one of the things that makes the objects on sale so desirable is that invariably they are not old but undamaged and in exceptional condition.

Some items go quickly, some linger, but all tell a story of a particular era – presented in a way that is decidedly modern.

The Antique Dispensary – a new website selling vintage products online



The Antique Dispensary is but one example of the work we do with small and medium sized businesses.

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