The following post is brought to you by Squarespace. Our partners are hand picked by the Design Milk team because they represent the best in design.
Squarespace power users (and those who want to be): this one is for you. When it was founded in the old days of the Internet of 2004 (pre-iPhone and pre-YouTube), Squarespace was the aesthetically minded person’s saving grace. It was an easy way to make a website for those with a design eye, but without solid coding chops. It was so successful in filling that niche that soon after, design savvy folks began creating entire businesses around designing Squarespace websites.
The creative community built around Squarespace was great, but the company was focused on just making its existing tools better (and creating more of them). And so that group of Squarespace website designers grew organically (Raise your hand—in the comments—if you’re in that bunch). Designers formed their own Facebook groups or off-line support systems, and Squarespace took notice. Squarespace Circle gives those folks some well-deserved love—a community for creative professionals who build websites on Squarespace (with some pretty awesome perks).
Squarespace Circle Benefits
- Extended trial periods. This is the biggest Circle gift. Instead of a 2-week free trial, Circle members get trials periods that are six-months long so clients have plenty of time for back-and-forth before going live.
- Optimized customer care. Squarespace’s Customer Care Advisors know that Circle members are advanced users, which helps them answer questions even more efficiently and effectively.
- A community forum where Circle members can share tips and ask questions. Squarespace also posts product and policy updates in the forum so that members are always up-to-date on the platform.
- And exclusive content designed to help professional users improve their skills and grow their businesses. (The exclusive content piece of circle is important if you’re a fairly savvy Squarespace user who wants to expand your business to include a website design component. Every step of the process of creating a website design business is outlined in detail.)
Logo & Branding
For those of us who are Squarespace fans, a big part of that fuzzy feeling comes from our love for the clean, elegant Squarespace aesthetic. Which meant that when Design Lead Billy Sweeney was charged with creating the logo and branding around Squarespace Circle, he had quite a challenge. He needed to create an identity that was related to but distinct from Squarespace’s, develop an original idea for a well-defined and evocative word, and do something that would appeal to power users with sophisticated tastes and ideas. The team landed on the name Circle because it was broad enough to encapsulate the wide range of creative professionals who work with Squarespace—graphic designers, web designers, marketing specialists— while indicating that there’s a community and commonality among them.
The logo was a bit of a tip of the hat to Squarespace—the diamond in the C is a representation of the Squarespace logo. And then the (highly symbolic) circle surrounding it is based on precise geometric proportions derived from a square. The simple black and white palette ties the mark back to the core brand.
For the branding, Billy wanted to emphasize the idea of Squarespace being a creative tool, which led him to a concept that cleverly connected Squarespace Circle, a modern digital tool, to all tools-of-the-trade. So he spent weeks collecting tools—hitting up Goodwill, snapping up dead computer parts at repair shops, and scouring the aisles of art supply stores. He amassed quite the tool collection.
Having developed the concept of representing the Circle mark with a wide range of tools, Billy set about composing a cohesive image out of distinct parts before abstracting each part with a coating of matte white paint.
Then it was time for the closeup. The objects were meticulously arranged on white paper (see behind-the-scenes photos below). Billy says that he spent more time on the prep than the actual shot. The arrangement of all the objects in the grid (above) is actually five feet wide! Yoga skills were necessary to get everything to fit just right. The final shot is pretty impressive and quite beautiful (who knew screws could look so artistic?).
The precision and care with which the branding and assets were executed is a pretty impressive symbol of how much Squarespace appreciates and wants to support and grow those who rely on the platform for their own business and livelihood. If you’ve never thought about adding website design as a business service, now just might be the perfect time to start. (And if you’re already doing it, give a shout-out to your Squarespace design business in the comments.)
Squarespace Circle is open to creative professionals with three or more Squarespace sites… the community is waiting. Join the circle here.