Kickstarter launches two rebrands: one for itself and one for Drip
Massive crowd-funding platform Kickstarter announced two impressive rebranding projects this week. Firstly, Kickstarter updated its own brand; then they made a big splash relaunching Drip, a creative-community platform.
To illustrate the influence of Kickstarter on the modern world, at the time of writing, more than 135,000 projects have been successfully funded on Kickstarter (read: more than 135,000 art projects, designs, books, tech products and more have entered the world because of Kickstarter). In total, these projects have raised more than $3.4 billion through 42 million “pledges” by nearly 14 million “backers.”
In a bit of serendipity, one of Kickstarter’s successfully-funded projects was the New York City Transit Authority standards manual; due to its enormous success and acclaim, the project’s originators, Jesse Reed and Hamish Smyth, were able to start their own design firm, Order, with which Kickstarter’s in-house design team collaborated on the two new brands.
For Kickstarter’s rebrand, they commissioned Brooklyn-native Jesse Ragan to design a new logotype. The resulting letterforms correct some of the original logo’s issues—namely the change in style and inconsistent weighting—while amplifying its main appeal—the pillowy block letters.
The old logo featured two colors and two fonts; it abruptly transitioned from black and bold to bright green and bolder; this caused confusion for people pronouncing the company name: “Is ‘Kickstarter’ one word, or two?” The new logo replaces both black and green with deep jungle green; it also takes inspiration from the counter-less A and Rs of the original to fill all counters—even the open ones on C and S—for thick marshmallow-like letterforms.
Their new identity guidelines say that the “wordmark has been carefully crafted to read well, even at small sizes.” While the shift away from Kickstarter’s old and garish green is questionable, the new type hits the mark—the unique character stands out even more, with companies like ebay moving towards predictable sans serifs.
Beyond the logotype and color changes, Kickstarter’s rebrand entails a crisp and clean web-design. In previous versions of Kickstarter, visitors risked overwhelm—there seemed to be dozens of disparate projects shoved right up front on the home page, with annoying sliders and little white space. The new design travels very far in the opposite direction, looking more like a magazine than a commerce site. The brand’s new font stack includes Cooper Light and Maison Neue; leading to a site that is not so bulbous and idiosyncratic as its logo. . . but still a joy to browse.
Drip—founded in 2012, acquired by Kickstarter in 2016, and relaunched this week—is a “tool for artists and creators to fund and build community around their creative practice.” Essentially, it’s Kickstarter but the pledges support ongoing work rather than fund a set deliverable.
The old logo, which was inherited through the acquisition, featured a squarcle and some banal type. The new logo, by contrast, beefs up the letters to fit as a sub-brand of Kickstarter, moves to all-lower case for a pleasant d/p balance, and flips the i for a visual pun, as if the tittle were dripping out. Each of the logotype’s four letters appears firmly in-place, with no spacing qualms or weight discrepancies. Drip’s new branding manages to stake a claim for itself while playing within Kickstarter’s recognizable boundaries.