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New in the Online Archive: Tables

Letterform Archive members can now set their own Tables — a tool for collecting and arranging items for research and inspiration.

In April we launched the Online Archive to the public and promised exclusive features for Letterform Archive members in the future. That day has arrived with the beta release of Tables.

In non-COVID times, “setting the table” plays a central role in how we share the Archive collection with our guests, whether it’s on an introductory tour or class/team visit. Now we’re offering a virtual version of that experience to our members using the Online Archive. Tables are essentially custom sets of items that you create and save for later reference. You can use a Table to group related objects; see multiple images from a single item at once; and add your own personal notes to each image. You can read more about the tool in our preview post.

Today’s beta launch is available exclusively to members and requires a new account specifically for the Online Archive to create Tables. To get started:

  1. Visit your Letterform Archive account page.
    Or, if you’re not already a member, join!
  2. Click the “View member benefits” button.
  3. Click the “Launch the Online Archive” button.
  4. Create your Online Archive account.
    Choose a display name and password.
  5. Browse the site and add images to your table using the button above any image.

As a beta release, there are a few bugs that still need fixing and features that aren’t quite ready, but we wanted to get the tool to you now, with basic functionality, so you can experience the joy of creating tables and tell us what you want to see next.

Known Issues
  • Removing an item can break Table functionality. Refresh the page to fix the issue.
  • Rearranging a Table can fail to take effect. This issue is intermittent and isn’t evident until you revisit the Table. We’re tracking down the cause, but do let us know if it happens repeatedly.
  • Browser navigation (back/forward/open in new tab) can be inconsistent. This is a general issue with the Online Archive that we’re working on. Use Chrome for best results.
  • Some items appear very small. We love to show all objects at relative scale so you can can experience them as you would in person, but very large items (like posters) will dominate a Table and negatively impact smaller items. We’re working on ways to address extreme sizes.
  • Table page occasionally appears to be blank. Refresh to fix.
  • Log out button (top right) is not clear on small viewports.
  • Images only appear in their original orientation. Rotation does not work for now.
  • Thumbnails reload when scrolling a long list of search results (Safari only).
Features in the Works
  • Support for Table arranging on touch devices
  • Export Table as a PDF for printing and distribution
  • Table sharing — Update: Added in 2023!
  • Table collaboration

Of these upcoming features, the one we’re most excited about may be Table sharing. Stay tuned for more blog posts featuring examples of Tables from staff and members of our community.  Thank you for supporting us with your membership and your feedback! Don’t forget to use the (?) button in the Online Archive to tell us what you think.

Update: See more Online Archive Tables.