When I had Milton Glaser lined up to speak in january, I reached out to the fantastic folks at Mailchimp and asked them if they would be up for doing a custom slide dedicated to Milton, given his massive-crazy-rockstar status in the design world. Within minutes I saw a “YES! YES! YES!” in my inbox. Here’s what they sent:
Needless to say it got a big laugh. What I thought would just be a one-time-deal has now turned into one of my biggest highlights of every CreativeMornings. Four slides in, I can safely say Mailchimp has created a new way of doing event sponsorships. I have gotten comments this morning of attendees that they can’t wait to see what Mailchimp came up this time. Hat tip goes off to Aaron Robbs and his team for putting so much love into these and showing so much excitement for the idea. For those of you that read my blog it’s quite obvious that I am a big fan of Mailchimp. I find it wonderful that the founder, Ben Chestnut, let’s his designers experiment and spend a significant amount of time on these custom slides. Some people might argue it’s a waste of money and that there’s no real ROI… (yawn).
I strongly believe that by turning event sponsorship into something people look forward to see, injecting it with humor and good design, while not actually talking about your services and offerings, is the new way to go. Get people excited about your company and overall philosophy and the rest will follow. After all they managed to turn sending newsletters into something I truly enjoy. Just take their site: It’s beautifully designed and greets you with humor every time you log in. My favorite part is where the chimp talks to you and say’s things like: “Tina, aren’t you a breath of fresh air?”
Here’s what Aaron Robbs said on the process of coming up with these slides:
Playing on work these speakers have already done would be an easy route–but I look for something less obvious to latch on to. Christoph Niemann had a blog entry illustrating his history with coffee, and I finally thought to myself, “There must be magical juice in his latte.” But I probably wouldn’t have gotten to that moment without pouring over his work, going to craft stores, painting eggs and making fruit out of Play Doh first.
MailChimp really gets behind creative thinking, and they put a lot of trust in the people they hire to do a great job. So it’s really rewarding to be able to fully explore an idea and know that everyone is going to get behind it….even if it’s weird. And since all of my design work is for MailChimp these days, it’s nice to think of these speakers as new design clients. These slides keep me sharp. And they’re super fun.
Here’s the rest of the slides: Debbie Millman:
Ji Lee, of Google Labs spoke in March:
And just this morning, we had Berlin based Christoph Niemann speak. I nearly fell off my chair laughing when I saw this slide last night:
I hope that Mailchimp’s unusual approach to event sponsorship will have a ripple effect and that we will see more companies dare to experiment. As Christoph Niemann said in his talk this morning: “In order to have creativity, you have to allow for dead ends to happen.” Mailchimp is leading by example.
(And no, Mailchimp did not pay me for this post!)