Photo: Karen Inderbitzen Waller
Auckland boutique tailoring outfit Crane Brothers has a new website, and it is unlike any website I’ve seen before. I worked for Murray Crane for a number of years back in the mid-00s and he has extremely strong opinions about graphic design. His grandfather was a sign-writer, he is obsessive about fonts and typesetting, and he always favours a certain classic but punchy style of bold text on plain backgrounds, like the Crane Brothers logo itself. His new website manages to look old-fashioned, anti-technological, bookish and billboard-esque at the same time, and you can’t stop clicking through it. I’m no expert when it comes to 1960s magazines, but I imagine that they were designed in a similar manner – all bold colours, giant titles and blaring pull quotes.
“We’re not a high tech business,” says Crane. “We don’t want to be a Mr Porter. We are a small boutique business with exclusive locations, fit-outs and service. Our website needs to just be another one of our stores hopefully achieving the same thing. We wanted a site that was designed and built the way we design and build our suits. It had to be original in its approach, design and functionality. Everything has been designed from scratch. It also needed to encourage rather than discourage interaction: something most sites don’t do.”
Mission accomplished. Get on there and take a look for yourself – try out the online store (you can order a postcard or some Crane Brothers buttons for free); browse the collection; and read his blog – it’s a collection of gripes, grumbles, beautiful things and amazing puns.
Before I go: I know it’s impolite to discuss one’s political leanings in public, but Crane obviously has no such qualms. Check out the screenshot below. Any guesses which way he’ll be voting in the next election? Apologies to Mr Key.