Crafting Creative Market’s Refreshed Logo
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.
Step 1: 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”.
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
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
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.
Step 4: Giving the word “Market” a boost
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.
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!
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.