You Don’t Monkey Around With Rebranding Mailchimp

Mailchimp rebrand by San Francisco design studio Collins

Rebranding an established entity takes careful consideration. It is never a good idea to rebrand just for the sake of creating a new look. However, sometimes this is as good a reason as any. For the trusty and reliable automated email marketing platform called Mailchimp, which has continued to grow in popularity since its inception in 2001, a slight refinement took place.

The Atlanta-based business turned to San Francisco design studio Collins for the update. First off, Mailchimp dropped the capital ‘C’ but kept the smiling and winking chimp, known as Freddie, front and centre. They were not going to monkey around with him whatsoever. Freddie likely inspired the new colour choice of Cavendish Yellow.

The gang at Mailchimp claims the colour was chosen because it is the shade of optimism and sunshine. I suspect that the colour is closer to the shade of a healthy banana and what’s a chimp without one of those somewhere nearby? That’s not the only colour, either. Collins added a supporting palette that includes pinks, greens and others.


As for the fonts of choice, a classic that dates back to the 1920s – Cooper Light – is going to play a huge role in the marketing of this email service giant. The font will be used exclusively in all communication used by Mailchimp and was chosen because it is a font family with a sincere and trustworthy personality.

Classic fonts typically have that going for them.

Probably the most noticeable of the changes to come about as part of this rebrand is how the word mark was peeled apart. The 2013 hand-drawn work of Jessica Hische was retired and replaced with a sans-serif font created by Collins. The best way to describe it is that it is thick and chunky.

What I need to point out is that when you have a playful name like Mailchimp, you can’t lose your sense of humour. Thankfully, Collins keeps it intact as a number of whimsical, fun and funny illustrations and animations are all part of the rebranding strategy.


Although this is far from a new approach, I find it is an effective way to move away from one brand image to another without deviating far from the original. What I mean is, illustrations work well as a method used to soften an image and make it more friendly and approachable.

Mind you, I’m not sure when a silly monkey – um, chimp – would be considered so brash that it would require a serious toning down. The illustrations are clearly a throwback to the earlier days of Mailchimp when such drawings were part of the attraction that made sending emails fun.

I like the rebrand for several reasons.

Collins did not eliminate the recognisable parts of the image. If your business has the word ‘chimp’ in it, there better be something resembling one as part of the brand. I also like the new font used for the word mark. Change sometimes is good and this one doesn’t go ape.

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