Wal, Cooch, Horse and … The Dog. Footrot Flats & the iconic characters that inhabit it’s hills, valleys & paddocks sit at the very heart of what it means to be a Kiwi.
We were contacted by the Ball family in 2016 and asked to help them introduce Murray Ball’s creations to a new generation. But how to best honour such an important body of work?
Since the first publication of Footrot Flats in 1975, through to its retirement in 1994, Murray Ball produced over 4,500 cartoon strips, with a further 2,000 one-off individual sketches & watercolours rounding out the extensive catalogue of work.
A large proportion only ever appeared once in the daily paper & were never published again, meaning there is rich archive of effectively new content never seen before.
Sadly, Murray Ball passed away at home in Gisborne on March 12, 2017, 6 weeks after the new website launched.
He was one of us, a good bloke who gave a lot more than he took from this world.
Thanks for the memories Murray. We'll always remember you & are incredibly proud to have played a very small part in your story.
A paired back aesthetic was chosen to work in harmony with the monochromatic nature of the content. Inspiration for the digital interface was taken from the Footrot Flats printed publications, predominantly black & white with accent red.
The resultant visual interface makes the iconic cartoons the hero & honours the work of Murray Ball. The interface is minimal, clean and structured.
The new Footrot Flats site is backed by an extensive cataloging system that allows the family to describe each artwork by multiple attributes, creating a flexible taxonomy that both drives the Strip Archive & documents the entire repository of work.
Celebrating the life & work of Murray Ball, a true New Zealand icon.
We ignored omnipresent design trends & unashamedly embraced ‘Markerfelt’ as the primary typeface, honouring the authenticity of the Footrot Flats global brand while delivering a visually distinctive digital aesthetic.