Orange You Glad You’re Platinum?

Posted by Jason on November 17, 2014

MailChimp’s benefits team wanted to reward employees who reached the top participation level in our health insurance app. The app tracks fitness and health goals, and advancing through all the levels—Bronze, Silver, Gold—on the way up to Platinum isn’t easy. It takes time and dedication, and our benefits crew thought if there was a fun prize, maybe we’d be all the more motivated.

We’ve wanted to make a coach’s jacket for a while, and I realized that piece of clothing matched well with physical activity. I began ~mindjamming~ about bold imagery that might complement a dynamic orange jacket. I wanted to make something I’d be excited to wear.

I had also just attended the Brand New Conference in Chicago, where I’d seen a bunch of inspiring speakers. Sebastian Padilla of Anagrama struck a chord in particular. In “Design by Collision,” he discussed building concepts and executions based on the development of separate creative pieces. The end product, in his process, resulted from the collision of objectives and ideas.

I started contemplating design through collision of things I enjoy. Movies, comic books, drawing, photography: What if I took bits and pieces of all of them? I’d been reading comics and thought it would be fun to recreate our mascots—Freddie and Manny—as superheroes. I’d also been influenced and fascinated by Mad Max and The Walking Dead’s post-apocalyptic aesthetics. Childhood favorites like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and He-Man, Planet of Apes: nothing was off limits. With all this in mind, I photographed 2 employees and started drawing based off the photo.

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Unsurprisingly, the final product is a mix of everything above, and I’m super pleased with it. For the jacket’s front, I adapted an unused mark created by one of our designers, Mattiel. The back has my artwork. We printed the jackets with Terminus Tees.

It’s a true design collision that I had a blast making and love to wear.

Hopefully, it’s a prize my coworkers will strive to obtain. But for those who don’t quite make it (or, heck, don’t even work here), there’s a downloadable color version for mobile devices & desktop wallpapers.

(For jacket photos, I shot former Real World/Dawson’s Creek star [and MailChimp human resource recruiter], Danny Roberts. He’s got superheroic good looks.)

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