Fostering Creativity : Mailchimp

I recently landed in Mail chimp’s website since many years and their new ( I am late, they re branded in 2018) branding design felt eccentric. The illustrations were very annoying at first but I got a hang of it in sometime after reading the philosophy of their design and got bowled over.Enough said, you can read about their re branding philosophy from the link below :

This remark from Mailchimp’s VP of Design is very endearing to read.

With this redesign, we set out to retain all the weird, lovable elements that endeared our earliest customers to Mailchimp, while creating space for the brand to grow and connect with even more small businesses. We didn’t want to lose our heritage in the process, so we focused on capturing the essence of what Mailchimp has always been.

We want to show our customers that being yourself is good for business by providing the tools and confidence to take risks, especially as their businesses evolve. We champion authenticity, originality, and expressiveness because it’s what helps us — and our customers — stand out. We hope to inspire them to be more bold and creative in their own branding efforts.


This reminds me of the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling. There is this line,

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings — nor lose the common touch,

Mailchimp is being used my so many larger businesses however their rebranding philosophy revolves around “not loosing the common touch “ by adjusting themselves to the likes of smaller businesses.

The art work in their website is very surreal. Some similar experiences I have had in past :

Above : Illustration from Mailchimp’s website
( Source : Mailchimp Website)

There is this Australian puppet animation film called Mary and Max, which is one of my favorite movies. The animation made me queasy at first but the narrative and the story took over moving me to tears as the film came to an end.

Mary and Max
(Source : Google Image)

Ed, Edd n Eddy
(Source : Google Image)

Ed, Edd and Eddy, was another animated series featured in cartoon network back in 90’s that I saw. The art looks very snobbish, but the humor is just brilliant. After few episodes you get used to the flow of things. Devdutt Patnaik’s illustration look incomplete at first but once you adapt to his ideas, it just feels very natural and unique. Its very easy to identify Devutt, among a sea of cartoonists. Such brilliance.

Devdutt Pattnaik’s illustraion
(Source : Google Image)

Mary & Max or Ed, Edd and Eddy or Mr. Pattnaik or Mailchimp, they are all about being creative. I understand that branding a website, cartoons and artists are as different as chalk and cheese. But someone had the temerity to take a very lackadaisical approach to branding and that someone is your Mailchimp.

The alternative to this argument is that most people wouldn’t know Ed, Edd n Eddy, or Mary & Max or Devdutt pattanik because they are not popular till date and this simply reflects that people don’t remember them which is a failure in branding.

In a world inspired by Nike and Apple based branding, Mailchimp has transcended the common standards of creativity and branding. This is a nice initiative in my own humble opinion of being bold, breaking conventional thinking process and being creative spontaneously. The website looks unlike a business leader of their segment which they clearly are.

Mailchimp : what a balance of creativity and innovation!