Launched earlier this June, Madefire is a new digital publishing platform for comics and graphic novels through two main features: a desktop web tool where creators can produce their stories, and an iPad that delivers the content, or “Motion Books,” on steroids with animation, music, and sound effects. Among notable artists contributing to the first wave of Motion Books is Watchmen creator Dave Gibbons with the comic “Treatment” and one of the founders of Madefire is Ben Wolstenholme, CEO of Moving Brands, who engaged his team to design the new publishing venture’s identity and user interface.
The core Madefire identity assets — including fonts, colour palette and textures — pay homage to the vernacular of traditional comic visual language. “We wanted to create a powerful symbol that would be at home within the world of graphic novels. There’s absolutely no room for flimsy complexity in this world. It needs to be full of conviction; spare and instantly recognizable,” explains Mat Heinl, Moving Brands Chief Creative Officer.
The logo, built out of four circles, forms an ‘M’ and feels book-like in its form. It comes to life on screen through animation and sound design creating a sense of atmosphere and anticipation.
— Moving Brands case study
From top to bottom this is a stunning identity with the right balance of simplicity, boldness, and, in this case, fierceness. The red on black treatment throughout the identity gives everything a very evident edge that provides an appropriate background for the aggressive and energetic themes of the stories. Even the icon, which is a very simple and innocent book, feels like it could slice open your throat if wielded at the right angle and with the right force. I have always been a fan of the American Typewriter type family, especially the bold version, and here it looks as if it found the application where it belongs. Overall, the identity is unapologetic in its manliness and tone of voice, establishing an assertive personality in both the competitive industry of comics and story-telling apps.