Websites have to be functional; they have to inform or sell; they do not have to be beautiful, but when a website is attractive and performs its purpose, it is a joy to visit. The Yale University Press UK/Europe website, built by BDS, is a place that gives pleasure to the mind and spirit as well as displaying the products of one of the world’s most respected university presses.

The functionality and design of a website should reflect more than the bottom-line targets of the balance sheet. Today’s websites are flagships, often the first and only point of contact between the customer and the company. That’s why BDS builds websites that reflect the company that they represent, flagships sailing the ocean of e-commerce and the internet.

Yale University Press was founded in New Haven, Connecticut in 1908 and first established a marketing base in London in 1961, going on to publish its own list of titles, alongside the books produced by its US head office, in 1973. Yale now has a unique position as the only American university press with a full-scale publishing operation in Europe, employing a staff of over forty.

Yale’s list includes history, biography, politics, music, religion, literature and current affairs, with books that have won many of the leading British literary prizes and awards including the National Book Award, the Warwick Prize for Writing, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Wolfson History Prize and the Longman-History Today award. It also produces the renowned Pevsner Architectural Guides series.

With such an esteemed history and publications list BDS wanted to create a site that was elegant, rich in information and enlightening, reflecting, in a way, the handsome, intimate yet sophisticated surroundings of Yale’s Head offices in a Georgian townhouse on Bedford Square in London.

This elegance is combined with BD’s in-depth functionality which features browsing by a range of subjects, formats and classifications; news, blogs and events interlinked with Yale titles that build a connected story of information for every title and author; an author database that creates a mini-site for each of the Yale list of authors; suggested titles linked to a client’s purchase history, and a shopping cart linked directly to Yale’s distributor.

The site has to handle a backlist of some five thousand titles while about three hundred hardcover and one hundred and fifty paperback titles are added each year, all of which can be readily added to the shopping cart. This and the other website features are easily managed by Yale staff using the BDS CMS that is flexible and powerful allowing full control over its content.

“When we selected BDS to create our new website we knew them to be book industry experts in data integration and display. The site we now have uses the powerful BDS search facility in a non-intrusive way. We are delighted with the consumer-friendly interface that we have achieved, and have found BDSDigital helpful, quick and responsive, but most of all, flexible, to our evolving needs. The project has been on time, on budget and has thoroughly met our expectations.” – Yale University Press.

Yale University Press states its mission as “publishing serious works that contribute to a global understanding of human affairs, [and] aid in the discovery and dissemination of light and truth, lux et veritas”. Such an enlightened goal requires a website built on enlightened principles and clear thinking.

Visit the Yale University Press website at