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Crafting Creative Market’s Refreshed Logo

Creative Market March 31, 2021 · 5 min read
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Creative Market celebrated its fourth birthday this month! We’re 28 in dog years, 26 in cat years, and couldn’t be more excited to enter our fifth human year.
Our logo has been with us since we launched in back in 2012. For a mark that’s seen us through so much growth, it still feels true to our values and personality. But Creative Market has matured over the last four years. We’ve honed in on our mission, evolved our product, and our community and marketplace have grown tremendously. It felt like the right time to take a closer look at our logo and give it a much-needed refresh.

Why did we decide to refine our logo?

Our Creative Market community is a diverse collective of designers, illustrators, letterers, photographers, and more — all kinds of creators at different stages of their careers. All of these lovely folks have one thing in common: they hustle hard to grow their skills and evolve their craft. Elevating the level of design within our own brand is a way to reflect the quality of the work our community puts into the marketplace, and embody that spirit of growth.
Most importantly: we’re still us, just better! We’re on a mission to help creators around the world turn passion into opportunity, and we’re ushering in a new era for Creative Market to do just that. So without further ado, here’s the process of how we arrived at our new logo script.

The Process

Step 1: Make it legible!

Make-It-Legible
Our old logo captured the energy of handwriting, but with that energy came some legibility issues. The revised mark needed to be both readable at small sizes and beautiful at large sizes. There were a few specific letterforms in the old mark that were the main culprits. At small sizes, the slim padding between the “C” and “r” felt too tight, the open top of the “a” read a bit more like a “u,” and the connection between the “i” and “v” merged into a “w”.
logoscript-x-height
The old mark also needed an x-height remedy. Moving from left to right, the x-heights of the letterforms vary and get progressively shorter. While leaving some play in the x-heights of script lettering can be a great tool for achieving a casual, loose vibe, in this case it was creating imbalance within the stacked lockup of the logo. In the revised mark, we tidied up those x-heights and made the capital ‘C’ more distinctive so that the two vertically-aligned lines of type are easy to read at a glance.

Step 2: Getting Into a Rhythm

getting-into-a-rhythm
The recipe for a beautiful script is balancing the rhythms created by weight dynamics, angles, and connections between letterforms. In the original script, the brush strokes didn’t quite feel organic. The variations in weight felt random where they needed to feel rhythmic and fluid. We redrew the new script with that in mind. The stroke weights and angles of the terminals were unified, and we carried the shape of the tip of the C through to the ear of the ‘r’ and to the dot of the ‘i’. We also did a thorough clean-up of the curves in the mark, so that at large sizes those curves look clean as a whistle. The revised script feels stylistically consistent and balanced.

Step 3: Ligatures, ligatures and more ligatures

t-i-ligature
That tricky ligature! This tiny little line in the middle of our logo script was by far the hardest nut to crack. It seems like a small feature, but the ligature that connects the crossbar of the ’t’ to the dot of the ‘i’ is a hugely recognizable characteristic of the original custom script. Since this was a refinement, not an overhaul of the logo, we wanted the revised mark to carry the same spirit. Every iteration that tweaked the angle, length or weight of the ligature pushed the mark further from the legacy logo. After drawing pages upon pages of ligatures, we landed on a version with a more organic stroke and a less dramatic angle that did the trick.
a-sampling-of-the-iteration-process-for-the-ligature

Step 4: Giving the word “Market” a boost

the-word-market
The original logo keeps a sharp contrast between the script ‘Creative’ and the sans serif ‘Market’. In the revised mark, we set out to balance those elements by carrying the softness of the script letters through to the interior and exterior corners of the sans serif. While our script went from rough to refined, our sans needed to shift from cold and geometric to a more custom and friendly state. We beefed up the weight of the sans and made some tweaks to the crossbar of the A and the leg of the R to give it a touch more of a bespoke vibe.

Ta Da!

before-and-after
Ladies and gentlemen, meet our newly refreshed mark! After an 8 week process and many pages of iterations, our refined logo script is a cleaner, more elegant mark that fits the bill for the new era that we’re ushering in at Creative Market. We hope you’re as excited to ring in year five as we are!
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Creative Market is the world’s marketplace for ready-to-use digital design assets. We’re on a mission to help creators around the world turn passion into opportunity.

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43 Comments
  • Love the new wordmark! It's a very subtle change, but it drastically improves the legibility and look. Congrats on 4 years! 5 years ago
  • HAPPY BDAY! Nice to see the process... lovely! ;) 5 years ago
  • I love the new subtle and well thought out "tweaks!" It looks amazing! 5 years ago
  • Nice work, I'm glad you only refined it. Too many companies are just changing their logo for no good reason. 5 years ago
  • I am sorry: you forgot to put the "new" refreshed logo in the header! :p 5 years ago
  • Love the changes. Nice to see the details. 5 years ago
  • Very well done. I can see a hard work behind this. Congrats guys and happy birthday! 5 years ago
  • Just needs .025 closer kearning between the C and r. 5 years ago
  • Looks great! This is one of those subtle refined redesigns that makes a big difference. 5 years ago
  • Happy Birthday! A very beautiful birthday present! When will you unwrap it and put it on the header of the site? 5 years ago
  • A very subtle and worthwhile evolution. I wonder how awkward the old version will feel in a few weeks time. 5 years ago
  • @Doris Nawratil It should go up on the site today! 5 years ago
  • @Gerren Lamson Can't wait to see it on the site ;-) I already love it. 5 years ago
  • Love it! Happy birthday! :) 5 years ago
  • Awesome work, Bronwyn! :) 5 years ago
  • I love it. Nicely done, Bronwyn! 5 years ago
  • Very well done! It's impressive how a slight change could make such a difference. 5 years ago
  • Sweeeeeet! Well done, and this blog post reads like a well versed pitch. My favorite is seeing the marked up variation sheet with all the dreamed up versions, it really shows how much scrutiny went into the updated version. We've been proud to be a loyal customer, keep up the excellent work and THANK YOU! 5 years ago
  • Well done! 5 years ago
  • Bravo! 5 years ago
  • Happy Birthday, Guys! And good job with Logo, thumbs up! 5 years ago
  • Glad u solve that X-height issue loOl...Love the refreshed logo! Happy Birthday CM! 5 years ago
  • Like how r and e work together , like the a. ti ligature better looking though, as well as the rest of script. 5 years ago
  • Love, love, love it @Bronwyn Gruet ! Splendid work on this! It makes me so happy 😍 5 years ago
  • Thanks, everyone! We're so glad you're as excited about it as we are! 5 years ago
  • Very nice rework! I'm gonna make the same thing with my logotype 😁 5 years ago
  • WOW 4 Years! :'''' love the new logo...congrats to all!!! 5 years ago
  • Very nice! 5 years ago
  • Looks great!amazing. 5 years ago
  • Eight weeks...seriously? 5 years ago
  • Wow, great job! It looks so much better. Thank you for sharing the process. It's interesting to see how the old logo is previously assesed before any changes. 5 years ago
  • Well done guys! 5 years ago
  • Clever. Nice execution. 5 years ago
  • It's beautiful! Thanks for sharing the process - I love hearing all the thinking behind the decisions. So smart. 5 years ago
  • New logo looks much more professional! Congratulations! 5 years ago
  • So elegant! 5 years ago
  • Feliz cumpleaños. Y el logo quedó muy bien. Gracias. 5 years ago
  • It's amazing what a massive difference such small changes can make to the impact and legibility of your logo! Amazing work Creative Market team. 5 years ago
  • I am thrilled you kept the same feel, but enhanced it. Lookin' good bringing in your 5th year... 4 years ago
  • Getting inspire to get more sell. Awesome 4 years ago
  • Hi, I love what you have done here - very nice! Does anyone know of a font that is a bit similar in look and feel? I'm creating a logo for a new website and think your font nails it! Thanks 1 year ago