Mailchimp The Cube
What does Mailchimp do? Most people assume it’s a mail service. A shocking number of them think a monkey is involved somehow — and that, most likely, he’s wearing a little hat. So this was our job — telling the real story of Mailchimp — and here’s how we did it…
the problem :
Mailchimp’s Illustration System
Didn’t Reflect The Product
At its core, Mailchimp is a powerful, business-centric algorithm. Their product is an entire suite of products for businesses, many of which use AI to help run entire marketing campaigns from the ground up, using powerful recommendation engines to help figure out what’s best for individual business owners.
Although their illustration system is very lovable, these product-specific offerings weren’t well-represented. It was our job to help bridge the gap between their illustration system and the actual capabilities of their products.
“Smarts” became their branded term for this suite of products, which used advanced AI working behind the scenes to take care of their customers. But it needed a visual identity.
Enter : The Cube
The Cube is an illustration mark and flexible system that would represent what the “Smarts” could do. The cube isn’t a logo - we didn’t want it to compete with Freddie, Mailchimp’s loveable monkey mascot. Instead, The Smarts Cube is a recurring character in Mailchimp’s illustration system, a device with limitless possibilities that could ‘unfold’ to tell any story.
Anticipating Illustration Needs
We wanted to create a system which would anticipate illustration needs before they arose. First, we did a comprehensive deep-dive into their marketing materials and extracted the common themes. After the immersion process, we proactively created illustrations based on these themes.
Making The Toolkit
Once we fleshed out the storytelling capabilities of our nifty new Cube, we created a versatile toolkit of illustrations and animations which the Mailchimp team could plug into in order to fulfill any of their communication needs.
We focused on movement and explored the visual range of the device. It became clear, after playing around with it, that it could be used as an all-purpose transitional device — effortlessly getting us from A to B, whether that be a type treatment or UI.
The system was built to accommodate all sorts of marketing, including out-of-home, web, mobile, social, print, etc. The animation toolkit was built to be flexible enough to accommodate messaging needs across multiple aspect ratios.