One of our writers, Brandon, completely overhauled—rewrote, consolidated, eliminated, and generally updated—MailChimp’s guides recently. The guides have been a helpful tool for our users, and with these updates, they’re positioned to be even more helpful in the future.
In addition to the content, the guide covers were in need of a facelift. Some of them had been on our site for years, and were getting a little long in the tooth.
Instead of slowly designing a cover or 2 in between projects, our team tackled them all at once. We divided them up amongst 4 designers and set aside a week to work on them—each afternoon was DedicatedCoverTime™. Our creative director regaled us with stories about the old covers, we explored ideas and techniques, and by the end of the week, we had a whole set.
Below, our designers talk about a few of the covers we made.
Common Rookie Mistakes
For Common Rookie Mistakes, I was reminded that sometimes, the design process begins by throwing things together, pulling them apart, and crumbling them up again just to see what happens. To create the effect of a misused copy machine, I created a digital design and repeated a process of printing and scanning to roughen it up.
MailChimp for Designers
The Designers cover was more difficult than I anticipated. I’m a designer—shouldn’t be too hard, right? But my ideas were all convoluted clichés, or illustrations too in line with current design trends. It needed to be something that would ideally last a few years. Once I simplified my assets down to basic colors, shapes, grids, and techniques, things quickly came together.
MailChimp for Musicians
For the Musicians guide, I immediately thought of my friend Stephanie who’s been in a band and touring the globe for years. To me, she embodies the heart and soul of working musicians. We caught up at The EARL (Atlanta’s best rock ‘n’ roll venue) to snap some photos of her holding a cassette. The only thing missing from this guide is the audio version!
Getting Started with MailChimp
Initially, I was stuck on journey imagery: maps, planes, packed bags, even a space shuttle. But then I thought more about how people use MailChimp—as a daily activity, rather than a single event—and it clicked. Why not connect it to the most important—and best—meal of the day?
If you’d like to make your own pancake Freddie, I roughly followed this method.