We’ve had our eyes on Creative Market for a long time, and are always astounded at the great value they add to the design industry. They’ve done it again with the release of Creative Market Pro, a subscription with tools that make it easier to collaborate, stay organized, and get curated recommendations on everything from graphics, add-ons, themes, and more.
We talked with Senior Brand Designer Bronwyn Gruet and Product Designer Noah Stokes of the Creative Market Team to find out more about what’s going on with this amazing, growing company, which has been an asset for designers since its inception.
Who are you and what is your background?
I’m a designer and illustrator based in Durham, NC, currently serving as Senior Brand Designer for Creative Market. I studied illustration at RISD, and after graduating found myself more and more drawn to the overlap of graphic design and illustration. Before Creative Market, I worked in small agency settings, designing brands for all kinds of different organizations. Storytelling is really what moves me, and I love that design is a storytelling tool that combines art and communication. I also love thinking in terms of design systems, and exploring how all the components of a brand come together to form something bigger than the sum of its parts.
I am the Product Design Lead at Creative Market. I’ve got a rather storied background: I studied engineering in college and spent time doing that type of work before I discovered web design and dove in head first. Fast forward 15 years, and here I am working with an incredible team on an amazing platform.
What’s new at Creative Market?
Bronwyn: We’ve definitely been busy! This week we launched a brand new product, Creative Market Pro, the culmination of so much hard work by the whole team. It’s a curated design asset subscription, aiming to help design teams and agencies find inspiring design assets that can help them bring creative projects to life and streamline their workflow. We explored a fresh look and feel for this new product, and it was a thrill to collaborate with the team on all the different pieces of the system.
Noah: As Bronwyn said, we just shipped an entirely new platform for professional designers—Creative Market Pro. What we’ve built, along with our hand-curated catalog, should be a game changer in the stock asset market. Couple that with the fact that every asset sold through Creative Market platforms is helping creators turn passion into opportunity, and you’ve got a winning combo.
Choose a favorite shot of yours. Why is it a favorite?
Bronwyn: We’ve been keeping this under wraps for a while, so I’m excited to finally share all the work that’s gone into Creative Market Pro. This was one of my favorite elements of the brand system for the new product: the default avatars. Each of these avatars was inspired by a principle of design, then distilled into an abstract visual. Even though these are a small piece of the system, the color and pattern motifs from these helped guide a lot of other parts of the brand.
Noah: This is my current favorite because it gave me a chance to dabble in After Effects to create something animated, rather than just a traditional shot. It’s a stylized shot of our latest product, Creative Market Pro, which was the culmination of a lot of hard work by our amazing team.
Tell us about your setup. What tools did you use to create the shot (e.g. hardware, software, pens, paper, blowtorch)?
Bronwyn: This is my cozy little office. I have an LG 5k monitor, which I love, and alternate between working with a mouse and a Wacom Intuos Pro. I still do quite a bit of hand sketching to outline ideas, so I go through a lot of tracing paper and Palomino Blackwing Pencils. Not pictured here are my two cats, EJ & Renzo, who like to take turns looking out the window or sitting all over me.
Noah: We have 6 years worth of Photoshop files for our Marketplace–you can imagine the undertaking that it would be to move away from Adobe. Creative Market Pro was just the thing to move us to Sketch. We think Sketch is a killer product design tool. Some of us, however, will always be loyal to Photoshop as the best design tool out there. Some of us like me.
As a team, we’ve been wanting to explore and use animation more in our work (as well as in our Dribbble shots!) At first we explored the obvious choice: After Effects. We found a great Sketch to After Effects script that works great. We were able to move our Sketch files over as individual layers that we could then animate in After Effects.
In terms of hardware, I use an iMac 5k which is just the best. I’m not just saying that—it really is the best. You think what you have is the best? No, you’re wrong. This is the best. I also use a wired 10-key keyboard and a wired mouse because I can.
What’s the best part about working on the Creative Market team?
Bronwyn: I love being a part of this team. Everyone at Creative Market is passionate about the creative community, so we all share that drive to help creative people succeed. It’s rare to find a group of people who are all individually so driven and kind, and who collectively value collaboration so much. We all have different backgrounds and expertise and are able to push and support each other along the way.
Noah: My best part is actually two parts… first and foremost, the people. I work with the best people—not just because they are all so skilled at their jobs, but because they each embody our culture in a way that is unlike any other place I’ve worked. Second, the work that we do is changing people’s lives. I know a lot of people say that, but we are really doing that. At the end of the day, those two things bring me all the satisfaction I look for in my work.
Choose a favorite shot from another player. Why do you dig it?
Bronwyn: I’m such a big fan of Meredith’s work. Her characters are so energetic and just exude joy, and her use of color is always so gorgeous. I’m always excited to see new work from her.
Noah: I’ve been on Dribbble since 2009, so I had a lot of Likes to sort through. Ultimately I landed on this shot by Tyler Thompson. I love it for a few reasons: the collage look that is very much Tyler’s original style (scanned assets mixed with digital work) and the fact that it’s only a tease of the entire shot. In the early years of Dribbble shots were just crops of what you were working on, and nothing was revealed too early. This shot, in particular, was a build-up to the 2011 SXSW event for Squarespace. Seven years out, still my favorite shot.