Brand creation and responsive web design for a new digital cycling and gear magazine.
We created a brand. Element.ly needed a full brand identity to launch their digital magazine. We helped develop their distinctive tone of voice and approach to editorial.
Designs to grow. Starting with the deliverables needed for launch, our design strategy is flexible: always considering future development and iterations.
An experienced team.The founders of element.ly have plenty of experience in digital publishing: writers, editors and directors from WIRED, SF Chronicle, Medium, and Cult of Mac.
Branding a startup without any content
When we were commissioned to develop the brand identity, we didn’t have anything to work from apart from a name. Competitor research (and looking at brands in the marketplace) helped us form a brand strategy and striking identity that meant element.ly would be remembered.
Creating an aspirational outdoors brand
Cycling is huge. Part of the appeal is the aspirational lifestyle: being outdoors, exploring beautiful parts of the world without modern-life distractions. The concept behind element.ly’s identity captures the sophistication of the aesthetic, whilst appealing to an outdoors audience: refined and seductive, but equally rugged and robust.
In digital publishing, having a unique tone is crucial. And words are the best way of achieving that. One of the characteristic elements of the brand is strong, confident typography. Whether an article title or news feed, element.ly is authoritative and trusted.
Developing moreish content
With a digital magazine, making reading articles an enjoyable experience is key. We implemented a number of techniques to optimise legibility and readability. From reducing eye-straining contrast by carefully combining colour, to using web fonts designed for on-screen reading. We also created a structure to reduce dead-ends and encourage users to keep reading new articles and stories.
KEEPING USERS ON THE SITE
With digital content platforms, social media sharing is often the way most users visit sites. Landing direct on article pages means lots of users never view the homepage. To limit bounce rate and reduce abandonment, on post pages we introduced a series of natural inline 'related' promos, eye-catching tags, and archive galleries at the bottom of each page. Having no dead ends keeps users engaged, and keeps them on the site.
Optimised for mobile
With the rise of social media, more and more content is being consumed using mobile devices on the fly. We provided responsive designs optimised for mobile, tablet, and desktop to ensure everyone gets the best viewing experience. All the page templates we delivered to the team were built on a flexible framework for a fluid user experience.
From the earliest wireframes, we had commercial advertising in mind. Although natural product integration, affiliate linking, and sponsorships are to be explored in future phases, traditional advertising was needed to monetise for launch. We made flexible page templates to ensure responsible adverts could be included in a natural and unobtrusive way.
Unique sharable content
Online publishers rely on social media channels like Twitter and Instagram to reach new audiences. Element.ly is an image led magazine, with rich photography. But it has great writers too. So we created a template for writers to focus on the words, letting them post text only assets designed to stop people scrolling in their feed. Branded content that's engaging and memorable.
Creating an active email database is crucial for brands to reach their audience. Studies show email acquisition quadrupled over the last four years, proving it's still a crucial marketing tool. For a magazine, it's the perfect way to remind readers you're active, and drive traffic to your site. We carefully designed signup boxes: using emotive language that shows exactly what you'll get, how often, and how to unsubscribe. Giving users information in a smart way increases signups, and builds trust.
element.ly In the wild
How we worked with the team
We used Slack for seamless dialogue and quick-fire solutions
Marvel was used for fast iterative prototyping and refinement
UI was designed in Sketch for fast, accurate handover
We're always looking for new challenges and experiences. Whether you're a tech startup, one man band or large established agency, we'd love to hear from you. Get in touch →
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