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Air Mail

Recapturing the charm of print media


Flying First Class

Air Mail’s mantra, the best of the news from abroad, has been the north star for their editorial team since the idea of the brash publication was conceived by Graydon Carter and Alessandra Stanley. Despite an insightful editorial voice and a flexible proprietary content management system, Air Mail lacked the time and resources needed to craft a user interface that made navigating the site as satisfying as reading the content.

That’s where Postlight came in.


Fostering frequent flyers

At its core, Air Mail is a weekly newsletter, thus the web experience was designed as such. Digging deeper, we found the opportunity to cultivate healthy habits for readers by helping them to discover new content outside the band of weekly issue releases.

In partnering with Air Mail’s Editorial, Technical, and Business leaders, we formed an understanding of the sections of the site we’d reimagine and immediately got to work bringing our ideas to life. By introducing proven digital media techniques such as curation and recirculation, we’d help the site feel less static and give Air Mail’s editors the ability to make the site feel fresh every day.

Our goal was to design and build a product that allures a reader into a habit of visiting the site daily — a far cry from a weekend update.


Cruising altitude

As one would expect of a publication for a discerning, on-the-go audience, Air Mail’s design was good enough on mobile, but the experience began to fray on larger screens. We designed with responsiveness in mind, to ensure that no matter the screen or device a reader used, all the content on the page would be thoughtfully presented.

Breaking the pattern of vertically stacked article cards afforded us the ability to inject sections of editorially curated evergreen content and older but still relevant pieces between recent articles.

But what good is a homepage when a majority of Air Mail’s readers come directly into an article? We introduced a sub-navigation system to the weekly issue that promotes the discovery of recently published articles. Providing multiple paths to fresh content guarantees a reader never comes across a closed gate.


Thank you for flying with Postlight

The new Air Mail combines the timelessness of print media with an unabashed attitude and a renovated facade to unparalleled results. Postlight delivered a set of building blocks to refurbish a classic, luxury jetliner, and ensure that Air Mail has a modern fuselage that will keep them flying for years to come.

The new Air Mail features:

  • Responsive design
  • A flexible, configurable homepage
  • A robust primary navigation system
  • A secondary navigation system for browsing the current issue
  • Category and subcategory pages
  • Author pages
  • An archive of past issues