Viz

Comic book love for the diehard and the uninitiated.

Viz Media is the largest publisher of Japanese comics—manga—in the United States, and their fans are among some of the most passionate there are. But it’s a small scene, and intimidating to the unfamiliar. They needed a new site and a reassessed identity which would reflect their own love for what they do (sell comics!) and be embraced by both their most devoted fans and total neophytes.

We began with unifying their brand. They had a spiralling number of imprints and baby brands that needed to be reigned in. Some were hard to differentiate, and others didn’t house enough work to be worth the distinction. We winnowed it down to five core imprints and their digital media arm. We also removed “Media” from their wordmark; it didn’t communicate anything, and diluted the punch of their monosyllabic name: Viz.

We also started a pattern of right-aligning the wordmark—tying the site back to the right-to-left reading of the print comics’ originial Japanese.

viz-mark
  • Client
  • Viz Media
  • Type
  • Web
  • Role
  • Designer
The new Viz homepage, ft. One Punch Man

The new Viz homepage, showcasing different title artwork.

Viz had a tremendous amount of artwork from all of their published titles. It’s exciting stuff, full of bold linework, explosive color, and enthralling motion. That vibrance and excitement is the heart of manga. From our research, we learned that’s why fans adore it and strangers are drawn to it. We focused on making that art the visual focus of the new site, from the page intro to the individual product pages.

The Viz blog page, showing off bold usage of Circular

Using Circular allowed us to echo the visual qualities of Viz’s catalog and communicate the same excitement and love they have for their titles.

But the artwork never stands alone. We wanted the typography to carry that fearlessness and warmth just as much as the imagery. We selected Circular for the punch of its heavier weights and its geometric skeleton, which reflected the geometric shapes and lines in Viz’s titles.

A Viz product title page

Cover art is emphasized on the new site. It’s the main point of entry and attraction for most readers, not to mention just a hell of a lot of to look at.

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