“Playful” Mailchimp redesign aims to unify brand while encouraging creativity

Collins and R/GA have helped the marketing platform overhaul its identity, with changes including an updated logo and new illustrations.

Image courtesy of Collins

Mailchimp marketing platform has been rebranded with the help of Collins and R/GA, in a move to unify the brand while allowing space for creativity.

Starting off as an email marketing a tool for small businesses, Mailchimp has evolved to become a more complete “marketing platform” with more tools to help its customers grow their businesses, according to the company.

The redesign includes an updated logo, colour palette, wordmark and typeface, new imagery and illustrations.

Design and user experience has always been at the core of the business, according to Mailchimp VP of Design, Gene Lee.

“Our co-founder and CEO Ben [Chestnut] frequently reminds us that design was the first discipline he staffed when the company was founded in 2001,” Lee says. “It’s part of what has always differentiated us, and it’s in everything we do.”

Courtesy of R/GA

The redesign aims to be more “unified” and “recognisable” while preventing it from feeling “disjointed”, according to Lee, as having lots of “creative thinkers” in one space could mean being pulled in different design directions.

As a business that “champions authenticity, originality, and expressiveness”, the redesign still aimed to keep the “weird, lovable elements” from the brand’s heritage, Lee adds.

A design “framework” has been created to allow for “expression” within that, according to Mailchimp. This is done by keeping the typography, logo and colour palette consistent while allowing for more creativity through “playful” and “flexible” illustration and imagery.

The winking chimp logo, known as Freddie, has been simplified to ensure it works at any size, according to Mailchimp. The wordmark, which was previously in a script design, has been replaced with a bold sans-serif font, all in lower-case letters.

Image courtesy of Collins

The c in Mailchimp” has been made lower case to solidify the idea that it is no longer just an email service.

Coper Light has been chosen as the brand’s typeface.

Cavendish yellow has become the main colour across the brand, with a secondary palette which includes a variety of pastel background shades as well as brighter accent colours.

A series of illustrators including Franz Lang, Alice Meteignier, Barry Lee, Sarah Watts and others, were brought in to create a wide range of imagery, mainly in black and white with yellow accents, for the brand. These include quirky hand-drawn sketches and line drawings of everything from cartoon mushrooms, to giraffes and six-legged creatures. Some of these images have been animated to bring them to life.

The company says working with numerous illustrators allows them to “make room for a diversity of perspectives and visual styles”.

Image courtesy of Collins

The new illustration style will allow Mailchimp “to communicate complex tools and marketing practices in a simpler and more human way”, or Mailchimp says.

Photography has also been used to show to represent Mailchimp’s customers in their workplace to create a sense of “authenticity”.

According to Collins, which worked alongside Mailchimp in-house brand team, the new visual identity “retains all the elements that endeared the brand to its first fervent fans while creating space for Mailchimp to grow and speak with greater authority to a wider audience.”

The studio says it chose to avoid “reductive over-simplified design trends”, as this better suited Mailchimp – but also as “a message to growing brands that growing up doesn’t mean erasing your peculiarities”.

Image courtesy of Collins

R/GA digital agency consultancy also worked with Mailchimp to update the website.

“Mailchimp is an iconic brand that has always spoken directly to the heart of the creative class,”says Vanessa Reyes, VP, Group Managing Director at R/GA.

Richard Ting, EVP, Global Chief Design Officer, R/GA adds: “We tapped into the insight that, no matter how long Mailchimp customers have been at it, users are never quite sure if they’re doing marketing right. The new customer experience positions the brand as both a tool and a resource that is here to help them succeed.”

Courtesy of R/GA
Image courtesy of Collins
Courtesy of R/GA
Image courtesy of Collins
Hide Comments (2)Show Comments (2)
  • EMLD October 4, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    I find it really sad that not one of illustrators in this article is mentioned by name or given any credit for their work when they are probably the individuals in most need of exposure- really poor.

    • Tom Banks October 5, 2018 at 4:31 pm

      Thank you for your comment. Design Week has gone back to the designers and the client to find out more about the illustrators. We have updated the piece and named Franz Lang, Alice Meteignier, Barry Lee and Sarah Watts.

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