A Digital Platform for Emerging Writers and Creators



Having designed and launched #SupportTheShorts, a digital destination for the 70+ independent short films that were to premiere at SXSW before it was canceled because of the pandemic, Mailchimp came to us with a new proposition: launch a digital platform for emerging writers and creators. Like the independent filmmakers who relied on SXSW for visibility into their hard work, many independent writers and authors haven’t been able to share their work and perspectives, given widespread in-person book festival cancelations and stay-at-home orders.



Introducing By the Books, an immersive, digital home that befits the creativity of these talented, emerging voices. Previously an internal summer reading initiative at Mailchimp, this new public-facing platform features everything from curated book lists, to conversations between authors, to films, essays, and podcasts.

In addition to designing and developing the platform, we created a graphic identity system inspired by books, and extended the theme to virtual “bookshelves” and interactive objects on the site. We designed different objects for different pieces of content, like headphones for the Podcast section, adding personality and wit. The warm blues and oranges evoke Henri Matisse’s famous “Flowers” painting from 1907, a palette befitting of a summer reading list.



By the Books brings together curated content from diverse writers with unique and timely perspectives, and at a particularly important moment. Amidst incredibly important conversations happening across our society, it’s more important than ever that individual stories, experiences, and points-of-view are heard, seen, and understood. By the Books represents a space to have these conversations.

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