Building a growing brand with digital solutions

Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead needs no introduction – it’s the epitome of a hit franchise. But Kirkman’s tales of a zombie apocalypse and human survival began as a humble comic, and when that book exploded into the zeitgeist Skybound Comics needed ways to leverage their growing property. They partnered with CommonGround to design and develop the digital solutions that would enable them to do so. Frighteningly Functional

A comprehensive portal site

In a world where website content was shrinking, we knew that attracting and engaging fans for this particular property meant avoiding a “less is more” approach.

The flagship site we were building for the brand needed to allow visitors to dive deep into the world of The Walking Dead, showcasing the comic, the TV show, products, characters, storylines, etc. The new site conveyed the energy and horror of the brand, while delivering a ton of content that would allow fans to explore the universe in depth.

Powerful and simple content updates

The client needed a robust CMS that would allow them to frequently update content. We worked to build an infrastructure that delivered the desired features, but which could be easily managed by the Skybound team through a customized Word Press dashboard. The final site offers total flexibility, which allows the client to engage fans however they like, adding content at their own pace.

Comic-fied and Zombie-fied

We drew heavily from the comic books in order to create ‘locked’ design segments that would allow the site to maintain a consistent look and feel while communicating the energy and horror of the franchise.

Gotta Pay the Rent

We built a brand new storefront from the ground up, incorporating powerful new capabilities and a flexible backend. This worked to help Skybound retain merchandising sales while the franchise was growing and facing “copycat” competitors.

Custom photography was used to elevate the look and feel of the store. The new store was so successful that the company had to bring on additional employees to fulfill the orders.

Keeping ‘em excited for more

The Walking Dead is a story, but it’s also an experience. Once we’d built a digital home for the franchise, we worked with Skybound to create the small touches that helped the brand grow.

Fans, Engaged

A series of free, downloadable Valentine’s Day cards was a way to promote the new site while offering fans a fun freebie. And with over a million downloads in their initial offering, they were a small touch that had big impact.


A micro site counted down to the release of the 100th issue – helping it become the highest selling indie book of all time.

Moving the brand to an app

The Walking Dead Assault introduced the franchise to Apple’s App Store as an engaging mobile game. We designed the iconography and UI assets that would ensure the game looked great. CNET’s reviewers agreed: “If you consider the depth of the storyline and sharp graphics, theres no question that this game is a good buy.”

So what's next?