Since the advent of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the audience for Marvel content has exploded yet their digital presence hadn't been updated in a few years. What used to be a brand that served the hardcore fans of comics and collectibles now needed to serve a wider audience. Marvel now encompassed the world of film, TV, comics, games, podcasts, cosplay and more. The site needed to showcase it all in a breathtaking way.
One of the biggest challenges the team at Marvel had was to create a platform that was accessible to every level of fan. The Marvel universe can be a difficult one to jump into. With thousands of characters, endless multiverses and endless hours of content it can be daunting for a new fan to jump in. Add to that a jumbled mess of inaccurate or incomplete information coming from places like wikipedia and random unaffiliated blogs. We needed to define Marvel.com as the sole source of truth for Marvel knowledge.
One main challenge the old site provided was it's lack of flexibility. Every new page was hard coded and built custom on a case by case basis. We built out a site on a robust set of components that content creators could use to build new pages on the fly without having to engage developers.
One of my biggest surprises when we started working on the Marvel project was the lack standard brand elements other than the logo. So we had the opportunity to create something for scratch that would work great digital. We focused on a simple palette with red and black being main colors and using gold as a highlight. We needed a palette that didn't overwhelm and allowed the imagery to sing. The typography needed to be strong and flexible while still being able to fade to the background when needed. To have some ownable design elements, we were inspired by the active line work of the legendary Marvel artist, Jack Kirby. We used subtle elements to nod to the concept of comic panels and dynamic line without being overly expected and referential.