A New Home for Creative Market

Change: a word that took on new meaning at Creative Market in 2017 as we transitioned from an Autodesk-owned entity to an independent company. After three years of being part of a massive organization, flying solo meant we had to fill Autodesk’s shoes. From rethinking benefits for our team to getting set up on Quickbooks, overseeing every detail of our newly established company meant we had to redefine a lot behind the scenes.

Among the long list of spinout tasks was an opportunity to reimagine what a Creative Market office could be for the team. Putting some of the company’s most creative minds together, we took the reigns in creating a modern, yet comfortable space to tell our story, and reflect our culture.

The vision? A mullet: Business in the front, party in the back. The entranceway would be a clean and branded first impression for our visitors, the Creative Market moss wall set proudly by the doorway. Moving back through the space, you experience more and more snippets of color, creativity and our community.

Telling Our Story

The office design project encouraged us to take a step back and make decisions on the story we wanted our space to tell. What makes us us? And how do we incorporate that into the aesthetics of our office?

Our Conference Rooms Tell The Stories Of Diverse Shop Owners Around The World

Naming our five conference rooms was an exercise where we got to collaborate with the whole team. We called for ideas, and got a lot of creative suggestions for underlying themes: team inside jokes, our most-used emojis, product categories, and so on.

We were ultimately looking for conference room names that:

  • Reflect our unique company values and team culture
  • Reflect the creativity of the marketplace and the industries we serve
  • Honor community members that have made a big impact in our history
  • Have a unique story to tell behind each name (shop, product, etc.)
  • Are fun and delightful to say when booking or meeting in them
  • Are meaningful to the team

The concept we landed on was to find and feature impactful individuals who have creative product names (across all our categories) that reflect our diverse global community.

Our executive team meeting in True North

True North by Cultivated Mind

Named for a font created by Cindy Kinash of Canada. This particular product was on the forefront of the monoline/noodle script trend, and after its launch in 2014 became a favorite in the CM community. As a name, the phrase “True North” has an added layer of meaning for the team as our “mothership” conference room. Creative Market’s mission is to help creators around the world turn passion into opportunity. That mission is the driving force behind why we do what we do: it’s our True North. The decisions we make in this conference room will shape the future of Creative Market.

Bonjour by Nicky Laatz

Hailing from the UK by way of South Africa, Nicky was the first to sell $1M+, and Bonjour is one of her early fonts that became a trend-setting claim-to-fame in design. It’s literally everywhere, and big brands have used her typefaces in campaigns because of her impeccable style and quality.

SuperFly by Sam Parrett

Another UK-based seller, Sam’s shop has had explosive growth (he’s our #2 earning shop all time!), and he’s a very active member of community (including the community slack channel). As a name, SuperFly brings the fun!

RetroPress by Dustin Lee

Dustin opened his Creative Market shop in 2013, and runs it from Portland Oregon. His was the first major success story on Creative Market, and now he teaches others how to achieve the same success. As a name, RetroPress embodies the spirit of craftsmanship and is a nod to everything print-making, vintage, and the origins of the modern design industry.

Everglow by Seniors

Seniors Studio, based in Indonesia, is the leading Creative Market shop in their country. Seniors opened up shop in 2013 and launched a diverse set of amazing font products with a focus on calligraphic and script styles. As a name, Everglow exudes the passion that never burns out from our community and our team.

Ink Bandits by Callie Hegstrom

Callie Hegstrom is a design force to be reckoned with, running her shop from her home in Littleton, Colorado. Her talent, diverse products, and genuine, lovely personality have helped shape our community both on and off-site. As a name, Ink Bandits is fun and playful, and perfectly embodies our team library initiative.

Chicken Scratch by Aaron Epstein

Our conference room names wouldn’t be complete without a little joke from the team. What isn’t there to love about naming our supply closet after the infamous font product Aaron designed with his own handwriting and launched after the marketplace came online: Chicken Scratch.

We Paid Homage To Our Categories With Geometric Line Art Murals

From the start of the office design project, we knew that we wanted to add some hand drawn touches. We got our chance with the conference room walls.

Our conference rooms line the entire office, and sit parallel to a set of enormous windows that border a short pathway outside, thick with plants and trees. With the thought of creating a visual motif that could be seen and followed when walking through the pathway alongside the office, we added a pop of color to the back wall of each conference room. From outside, you can see the playful color shift from teal to periwinkle, and geometric line-art murals that reference different product categories on Creative Market.

Our Conference Rooms Feature Awesome Artwork Created By Customers and Shops

Bonjour, SuperFly and RetroPress all feature a gallery wall displaying artwork from our MWCM initiative. These serve as reminders of the incredible, diverse creative work our community and shop owners make, and are meant to refresh and inspire the team. We have plans to rotate the pieces featured in these gallery walls a couple of times a year to showcase fresh products and different creators.

Creative Market’s Reach is Worldwide, and Our Map Mural Shows That

We’re always proudly amazed by the impact our (growing!) team of 36 can have on our global community of 4 million. Watching our international shops and customers get incredible value from the site speaks to why we do what we do. When contemplating ideas for a light mural to feature in the space, additional suggestions from the team surfaced the concept of a map showcasing the geographic diversity of our community.

Senior Brand Designer Bronwyn Gruet, painting a map to showcase our global community

Focusing on Comfort

A Touch of Mid-Century Modern with a Side of Greenery

With the goal of providing comfortable spaces for the team to work and rest, apart from our regular workstations, we set out to find the right furniture pieces. We leveraged the taste of our team (nope, no additional interior design hire) to put together two lounge areas, a dining room, a coffee station and a destination for snacks. Scouring the internet for pieces that stuck to our palette of tans, grays, whites, wood grains and pops of color, a combination of furniture from Article, West Elm, CB2 and Poppin got us across the finish line.

The final office aesthetic called for as many plant accents as we could keep alive. From rubber trees to snake plants, aloe and air plants, a trip to a local Bay Area nursery felt like the last stroke of paint on our passion project.

Back-end engineer Jill de los Angeles working at our dining table (left) / Snacks on snacks (right)

Snacks on Snacks

LaCroix. Apples. Almonds. Oreos. We’re on a mission to fight any and every case of hangry! With daily veggie trays and an array of snacks and sweets, we’ve nailed down the right balance between healthy and indulgence.

Getting It All Done

Job titles don’t matter when things just have to get done

Getting the team involved really fostered a sense of ownership across levels, functions and roles. As a digital marketing manager, leading our office set up and design was out of the scope of my day-to-day work, but we didn’t have an office manager at the time to extend the project to.

While I was hiring vendors and buying everything we needed for Day 1 (the ever-growing list of silverware, trash cans, sponges, etc), our systems engineers were helping to install security and wi-fi, and making sure we were all good to go on the IT side. From the other side of the country, CDO Gerren Lamson and senior brand designer Bronwyn Gruet constantly delivered on concept, layout and artwork ideas. They went through multiple iterations of conference room mural concepts, and determined the best way to incorporate our mission, vision and values on our freshly painted white walls.

Our COO Priya worked with Poppin to find desks and tables, and I spent my off hours scouring the Internet for lounge and dining furniture. As a team, we picked a coffee machine that would fit our needs, and decided on the regular snacks we would buy. Whether it was building furniture, painting walls or picking out plants, it was all hands on deck — and that’s just a taste of our Creative Market culture.

Aaron Epstein, co-founder and CEO, painting our conference room walls (left) / CTO Chris Winn hanging our Core Values posters

A warm and inviting space to host our first team trip of Creative Market 3.0

With a new space to call our own, Creative Market 3.0 kicked off with a visit from the full team. We got to really experience our new San Francisco office. Most of our team is remote, so it’s incredibly powerful when we get a chance to work side by side, brainstorm strategy, and align our goals for the coming quarter.

COO Priya Kothari presenting during our Team Trip / Game Night!

Looking to the Future

Spin-out from Autodesk? Check. ✔ New office with room for our team to grow? Check. ✔ Now’s when the real work begins. We’ve got big exciting projects in the pipeline, and are hard at work continuing to grow the marketplace.

Thank you to Bronwyn Gruet and Gerren Lamson for help in writing this piece.

We’re always looking for amazing people to join the Creative Market team. We value our culture as much as we value our mission. So if helping creators turn passion into opportunity sounds like something you’d love to do with a group of folks who feel the same way, then check out our job openings and apply today!