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