Basecamp Rebrand (basecamp.com)
over 3 years ago from Liam F, Designer
over 3 years ago from Liam F, Designer
Bittersweet rebrand. I do like the simplicity and freshness of the new look but the old brand had such unique character. Smiley mountain orb will be missed.
Agreed... it's very similar to Drift's brand now... with the hand writing and bolder colors.
I think the most exciting thing about this rebrand is that I discovered they now offer a free tier while I poked around on their website.
Also... I'm going to miss the green :(
It isn't really my style, but then I am not a current customer of theirs SO my opinions mean squat in a goal of "did this rebrand help existing and new customers".
I'd love to know what motivated them behind this. Is this just stage one of a whole redesign? Did their potential customers prefer something less "cutesy"?
For the site....
I dunno if this is new with the logo but, I am so conflicted.
That is a lot of text, big text. Maybe some spacing would help it be more digestible but every space is filled with something, whether that is handwritten note or arrow.
The word "Basecamp" is mentioned like half a dozen times in the copy. I certainly won't forget what app I am reading about...
Then when I visit their "make an account" page, and leave the site. I return to the homepage with a full screen pop up saying I can sign in or close to view the homepage. What?!
I do love the Basecamp team, they have been such an inspiration to me on how companies should be run, but the logo and site isn't the vibe I expected from them.
To everyone I talk to, Basecamp is known as the cool little app that you eventually grow up and graduate from. I think this problem is more brand perception than depth of features. It gives you that indie band niche vibe.
The brand could use a little more polish. And with their whole purposeful/anti growth thinking this was about as far as they were probably willing to push.
Also, Monday.com is trying to eat their lunch. Could be another explanation for this 'brand' refresh and the keyword stuffing going on inside of the content.
Weird to still call out their sign ups in the footer when it appears to be slowing.
Basecamp leadership are famous for heavily weighting sustainability and quality over size, and for promoting a narrative that success doesn't always have to look hockey-stick … so I'm guessing from their perspective, this reflects their values/story.
doesn't really fit, though. they call out "3,233 companies signed up in the last week alone!" if they want to talk about sustainability, that's not the metric to use.
Makes me curious to how this site was created. Maybe I'm reading too much into it (haha) but there are some choices made in how they present themselves on the site that, I dunno, don't feel like what I'd expect based on hearing their leaders speak about the company/app.
In some of their books they promote that you should detect & celebrate small victories, so could jot it under that :)
It is when it's mostly organic signups and not run with VC money.
3,233 signups a week, huh?
Let's say they hit that number every week, minus one for the holidays. And let's say 2% become paying customers.
I'm not going to factor in churn … but at that rate, they're adding nearly $4MM in revenue every year.
Not too bad.
I don't get the sense that this is much of a rebrand - they've just changed the logo and their color palette, but I suppose Basecamp has always had a fairly light and utilitarian brand. They're definitely not a design driven organization.
I learned somewhat recently that they don't do mockups at all – their process is to design as the designers write the markup for the page, and frankly the outcome is that their visual design leaves something to be desired, imo. There's a disconnect for me here when I'm reading about how basecamp simplifies and streamlines your work process on a cluttered and visually noisy page.
Well, that process sounds fascinating! From the feedback loop perspective, it's hard to argue against creating something real and validating it immediately (assuming you have good processes for assessing feedback, and it doesn't just sink promising things immediately).
Jaime, Is there a writeup you can point me to about their process?
Yeah I'm not sure how much validating they do. My opinion of their design team is that they seem more like front-end engineers than designers, and I'm not a fan of DHH's insistence that designers must know how to code, but I digress. Their process seems like it works well for their company, and I have to appreciate that DHH has been an outspoken leader for remote work. He's just not someone I look to for design thinking.
I learned this all from a twitter conversation, but I was able to find an interesting writeup on their processes at Basecamp: https://m.signalvnoise.com/how-we-structure-our-work-and-teams-at-basecamp/
I think the thing that interests me most here is their cycles, with incorporated down time. Sounds nice!
Thanks for sharing that article. It's impressive—and unsurprising at this point given their track record, I suppose—to see how much thought they've invested in getting the working "organism" right: the stress put on scoping, the organic format of team-building and execution, the flex time in between that allows for reflection and following up ideas found in the working cycle.
I've found that the sprint-rest-sprint nature of agency work addresses some of the fatigue that embedded product teams often face; cool to see Basecamp injecting a similar break in to their process.
In addition to allowing time to poke at ideas stumbled upon during the last work cycle (which is often the most fruitful time), it ensures no time wasted context-switching between execution and strategic mid-cycle.
I wonder if this has to do with them launching a new product next year and looking to build some synergy. Whatever the reason, yeah, this kinda bums me out.
Tell me more about this product that they're launching next year. :D
Jason discusses the prospect (not the details) on the latest Presentable podcast
I'm a huge fan of the look and focus on messaging ala Notion.so, it's clear and well communicated. My only thought is the density. Not sure if its just my eye but their lead font Graphik set at such a heavy weight outside of large headings feels too condensed. And if you've committed to using only two weights for all of your copy it exacerbates it.
I don't think its a huge problem but there is a lot to take in and it can be distracting if a lot of copy is bold and everything else is regular. This is mostly in effect on whole pages but I felt the pricing table was a bit hard to focus on because there was more bold text than not:
A very small note on what is a no BS, just-what-you-need-to-know style which I fully appreciate and want to see more of.
It's clean and clear—nice work for this style.
It is super reminiscent of Intercom's new brand, and maybe more importantly, Notion's. Wonder if Notion is the real trendsetter as they started with the whole black & white Swiss look before the other two.
Either way, interesting and well done. I do like that the only color on the page are the CTA's to try—that's gotta work, and it's not ambiguous about what's important in the visual hierarchy.
Same brand with a flat logo. The brand itself has the same level of visual noise and relies on "mark-up" style elements that overloads images with too much instruction. All of that was true before this, too.
The flat logo is okay, though. And Basecamp is still a pretty terrific company.
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