Showing designs some love & care – An interview with our Creative Director

As we announced before and as you’ve seen on our new homepage, a few things are changing at Spreadshirt. Especially visually. Our (fairly) new Creative Director Do is responsible for most of that change. To give you a better insight into her work and the upcoming changes, we sat down for an interview.

Who are you and what are your tasks here?

My name is Do Kil and I’m Spreadshirt’s Creative Director. I’m responsible for the visual direction at Spreadshirt. That means: what the brand is saying, what it’s conveying visually, as well as what our website and marketing materials look like.

So why are we changing things – and why now?

The web is constantly changing. Spreadshirt was a bit behind and needed a facelift to convey a fresh message and be up to date on the modern web standards and trends. I don’t think that the old site, the old logo, or even the old brand achieved that. We wanted to build a more trusted brand. And consumers always have an eye for companies that have a modern feel. That’s why Apple is so popular: they are always cutting-edge. And sometimes it takes a bigger step forward and not smaller steps. That’s the reason I took the entire brand and reformed it. I felt like the “old” brand itself was not conveying who Spreadshirt really is as a brand. There’s so much energy within the company that needs to be transformed onto the site. That creative energy wasn’t visible online.

What are the key changes to the new startpage?

One of the key new features of the startpage is the main graphic. I felt that a story was missing. We want to put our designs and products into context, so they have meaning even to new customers. Having a bigger teaser and putting the models or products in context gives a consumer a bit more of an emotional connection – to create your own shirt you need to access those emotions.
Currently, the content of the new homepage hasn’t changed, but the style has. The designs have their own spot with more prominence and clarity. That way, customers can focus section by section and have a clear idea what each section is about. For example, the partner section has become much simpler and the illustration clearly shows what it’s all about.

A lot of people like the illustrated scribble style but question if it fits Spreadshirt. What do you say to that?

I think it does fit Spreadshirt. Spreadshirt is a place for great designers and partners, but it should also have a personality of its own. In the old style, Spreadshirt was a bit bland and dated, I feel that Spreadshirt should showcase our partners work in the best light. These little illustrations are not super polished, very scribbled, like the beginning of a sketch. The idea is that our partners and our partners’ designs are the ones in focus – this is why our sketches are black and white. Their designs should be the ones in color, not our sketches. The sketches add an element of fun and playfulness that enhances a lot of the designs and helps to showcase them.

How do the new homepage, the Spreadshirt collection and the new logo go hand in hand? And why is it all happening in separate steps?

We have built up a relationship with our partners and consumers – they know Spreadshirt. But if we just completely launch a new brand without taking them through the process, I think it would be a big shock and people may not recognize us anymore. So we don’t want the people that have been a part of Spreadshirt from the beginning to get lost in a huge relaunch. We’re taking steps and involving our partners and consumers in this process. It takes time to develop good things. We really have the consumer and partner in mind while we’re refreshing the brand. It’s all about how you showcase designs. If you just throw them out there without showing them love and care, they will get lost. We really want to acknowledge good designers and highlight them.

What are the next steps?

We want to work on the newsletter template, the product packaging as well as different functions within the site. We’re constantly working on improvements especially on web consumer needs and user tests are very important for all of this.

The homepage Do redesigned was first tested in the US and had great results with our customers. We’ve seen increases in clicks to certain parts of the website increase by 20% to 40%. Even the overall engagement (percentage of visitors who clicked anything) increased by about 10%! We are quite happy with these results – thanks to Do and her team!

1 comment Write a comment

  1. Hey guys thanks for the update on what is happening on Spreadshirt. The flex printing option is top notch! Over the last three months I have seen about 40 sales with small but growing collection of designs – mostly in the swag category (which i would like to see on the homepage again because that’s what my people dig) Anyways, I would love to get a newsletter to partners that talked about the break down of what categories and shirts are doing the best. I think we all want to see success from a business and partner point of view and the more knowledge we have and share the better. I think that us partners just need to make sure it’s a credible source with data behind it to improve out chances of success!