Music’s always been an important part of what we do here at MailChimp. Musicians were some of our earliest customers, and over the years they’ve been have been joined by a few other artists you may know, as well as some record labels, venues, and festivals.
Our love of music has also informed everything from our apparel to our coffee-making. Hell, our co-founder and design director once jointly hosted a Coffee Hour dedicated to celebrating turntables, electronic music, and classic hip-hop. (Percolator, anyone?) We’ve offered up our old rooftop for music video shoots and designed a giant Freddie balloon that Outkast used to capture aerial footage during some of their reunion tour.
When we were presented with the chance to partner with several music festivals across the U.S. and Canada during the past year, we knew we wanted to do something unique, but only if it aligned with our sponsorship philosophy.
One of the core values that guides all of our event sponsorships—music or not—is using our involvement to improve the experience for the event organizers and all the attendees, not to impose our brand and take away from the overall experience.
Most companies, when given this sort of opportunity, will ask for naming rights then slap their logo as large as possible on the stage. Or worse, they make their brand the stage. But we operate a little differently. We didn’t want to make uninspired, logo-stamped marketing handouts. Frankly, we didn’t want to make marketing collateral at all. We wanted something in particular—a limited edition keepsake we could hand out to the attendees.
So, we reached out to our fellow Atlantans at Methane Studios. Since 1998, Robert and Mark at Methane have been printing limited-edition posters for seemingly every band around. We told them we were sponsoring a series of music events over the next year, all of them a bit different in scope—one was a concert and BBQ, another 2 were opening parties, and the last was as a live podcast taping. Then we asked if they could conceptualize an individual poster for each event, printing 100 of each poster, and letting us distribute them at the festivals. Of course, they said.
Our only design guidelines were to not use the MailChimp logo or any other brand assets, and include certain text about the event itself: the basic who, what, when, and where. With that, Methane first hand-sketched a few concepts for approval. Once we signed off, they sent the posters to production at their print shop in East Point, just south of Atlanta.
What you see here are the final prints. We carried them to the 4 events: NXNE in Toronto, Sled Island in Calgary, Pop Montréal in Montréal, and Noise Pop in San Francisco. The end result is a high-quality collectible for 100 attendees at each of these events, a small gift that we hope makes their experience a little better and a little more human.