Squarespace’s Brand Refresh Was Inspired by the Energy, Movement and Grit of New York City

The brand has a new logo, typeface and an eye towards movement

New York City served as a major source of inspiration for Squarespace’s in-house creative team. Squarespace
Headshot of Katie Richards

Squarespace is entering a new era. Today, the brand announced an updated logo, a new custom typeface and an eye towards movement in its design and marketing moving forward. The refresh, which was a little over six months in the making, began rolling out of the brand’s website over the weekend and will also roll out across Squarespace’s social accounts.

New York City served as a major source of inspiration for Squarespace’s in-house creative team, which worked with DIA Studio, François Rappo and Optimo. The team pulled major themes from the city, including sophistication, grit, fashion and style.

Deciding to cull inspiration from New York City was an easy choice for Squarespace, which has its roots in the city and has continued to grow there. ” We are proud that we are one of the few bigger tech companies in New York that’s not a Silicon Valley transplant that has a satellite office here,” David Lee, CCO at Squarespace, said. “New York is in our blood.”

Once the team decided on that starting point for the brand revamp, the team analyzed some of the “typographic conventions that have evolved throughout” and are woven in “the fabric of the city,” Lee said. They looked primarily to the work of Massimo Vignelli, the man behind the design of New York City’s subway signage and map of the system.

That inspired the team to create the typeface Clarkson, dubbed after the street in West Village, where the brand is headquartered. Squarespace’s website described the font as “intentionally idiosyncratic, balancing the clarity and sophistication of a neo-grotesque sans serif with the edge formed by thoughtfully cutting the letterforms.” It’s intended to be very simple, clean and easily recognizable, yet eye-catching.

The team hopes the redesign will help people identify the brand not just by its typeface or logo, but by the way images and text move on the platform and its messaging. In other words, Lee said, the revamp is intended to provide “an ability to not only define what our brand is in two dimensions in terms of the logo or type face, but … to look at movement as something that we can potentially own.”

Squarespace’s in-house web design director Nessim Higson added that while static logos have “traditionally been the way that brands approach identity,” the brand is looking to lean into something more complex: movement. “We are really trying to be a bit more encompassing and own the fact that we are digital and we need to behave that way,” he explained.

Squarespace also hopes that when designers and creators use the product to build their own websites or personal blogs and portfolios, they’re inspired by own design and movement.

 

Another major reason for the revamp: growth. The Squarespace team is growing, and as these new creatives bring new ideas and strategies to the team, the brand identity shifts. “When your creative team is growing and you onboard new designers, it’s really easy to wake up one day and look at some of the work that starts to deviate away from the brand purely because there are so many new people,” Lee said.

Squarespace is also revamping its Instagram account. The brand wiped its account of all posts over the weekend and began adding posts back Monday morning, starting with a video highlighting some of the changes that customers might notice moving forward.

You can see more information about the brand refresh here.


@ktjrichards katie.richards@adweek.com Katie Richards is a staff writer for Adweek.
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