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Iron & Air

An online publishing platform to bring the beloved motorcycle enthusiast print magazine to the digital realm.

  • Webby Award Nominee 2022

Simpatico partnered with founders Adam Fitzgerald and Gregory George Moore (as well as the team at York Creative Collective) to fully realize Iron & Air as a digital lifestyle brand.

The challenge

Iron & Air, a quarterly magazine started in 2012, had recently been acquired by York Creative Collective. They came to Simpatico having decided to invest in growing the brand into a full service lifestyle brand with a significant digital presence: one that would be monetized through premium, custom ad units and subscriptions.

Editorial Magazine
Various Desktop and Mobile Designs

Adapting the design darling of a magazine for web

The new site (built on WordPress, of course) showcases a visual design language and system that takes its cues from the graphic design of the magazine, and lets the content and photography shine. 

Using a similar ‘serif to sans-serif’ combination from the magazine, we chose Freight Display for headlines which has a modern and high contrast feel and translates well from print to digital settings. Pairing that with GT America, a very readable sans-serif with lots of personality – perfect for long form body text as well as subheadlines.

Brand Typography and ColorVariable Spacing Rules
Article Desktop Screen - Iceland Roving

Creating powerful storytelling tools for editors

Iron & Air is about more than bikes. It is about the people, stories, culture, and lifestyle connected with bikes, cars, and the open road–encapsulated by their new tagline, “The things that move us.” The magic of the Iron & Air brand lies in its ability to tell stories, both via prose and stunning photography. At the outset of the project, Simpatico quickly identified that our chief challenge would be to create dynamic, flexible tools for editors to tell these beautiful stories successfully. Weeks of discovery (that included a lot of time with the print magazine, as well as with the founders) yielded a robust and flexible article builder that gives editors a powerful, rich, beautiful toolkit to tell their stories. Available modules include an interactive travel map, product hotspots (with affiliate links), motorcycle spects, and more.

Various User Interface Designs
Article Page Designs
Mobile Screen ArticleMobile Screen MenuMobile Screen Locations
Backend CMS User Interface

Monetizing via paid subscriptions, not banners and boxes

The site is monetized both through direct advertising and paying subscribers. For the latter, we leveraged the Leaky Paywall Platform to create a full-scale integration that includes a metered paywall that allows for different tiers of membership. The site also includes beautiful, premium ad placements for direct advertisers.

Paywall Gate Various Pages and Views

An immersive photo gallery that pays homage to the open road

Iron & Air editorial focuses on “motorcycles, and the places they take us.” The magazine’s features use brilliant photography and prose to share travel adventures. Early on, we identified a challenge for our design team: How can we leverage the capabilities of the web to bring to life the dynamism of these stories? Our final design – a horizontal, parallax photo gallery – was inspired by the movement of the motorcycle and the romance of the open road.

Immersive Photo Gallery - Horizontal Scroll

if you liked this project you might be interested to see how we designed a modular, custom WordPress theme for the editorial brand of M.M. LaFleur, The M Dash

feeling like we might be simpatico? get in touch