MailChimp: Designer Templates


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Here’s another project that I’ve been involved with that went live this week — and this time I actually did some design work on it. Several months ago the awesome mailing list service MailChimp invited several designers to create premium templates for their paying customers. Aside from myself, there are designs from Jon Hicks, Veerle Pieters, Elliot Jay Stocks, Dan Rubin and several others. We each produced three templates: one for a newsletter, one for product announcements and one to promote an event. Here are two of mine:

Have a look at all of them here.

  1. I like the look. I don’t have an opinion on how successful the templates are at housing the information, though, because I haven’t thought enough about the content or its use.

    But there are two things that I noticed immediately and that I admire:

    1) The designs, like your work at the Times, efficiently leverage CSS’s basic effects to do the heavy lifting, without having to rely much on images. This seems somehow more “honest” to the medium, and leads to faster, simpler code too. Especially given the poor standards support in email clients, I imagine that whoever had to code your designs was very grateful for this.

    2) I have a soft spot for single-column layouts. Especially in the vertical-scrolling-dominated medium that is the web, using only a single column creates a phenomenally-clear hierarchy and a visual restfulness that I love. Sure, that’s not appropriate in all cases, but what is.

    The only critique I have is the use of flush-left, ragged-right text in an otherwise-centered layout. I suspect their was a reason for this decision, but it looks unbalanced to my eye, at least when there’s a lot of copy, as in the example on I think I would’ve tried justified type, which doesn’t seem like it would be problematic given the fairly-wide measure.

    Btw, if you’re allowed to share, did MailChimp give you a brief on the “feel” they wanted, in order to make sure they didn’t get multiple templates which looked similar? Or did that just work itself out?

  2. Loved the templates so much that I was inspired to sign up for a Mailchimp account after reading this post. Perfect timing actually, as I was finalizing my new site launch. Spent some time customizing a few of the elements and fast forward a few weeks later, I just sent out the email to some really positive responses. Link

    Thanks and go Otis!!

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