Introducing Open Studio — Creators and Patreon's Design Team In Conversation

Hey beautiful Patreon community!

For those of you I haven’t met, I’m Ben and I lead Patreon’s Design team. Our team of researchers, graphic designers and user experience designers work closely with Creators to build a better Patreon. I hope many of you have had the pleasure of meeting with one of our awesome researchers or designers. If not, great news: I’m here to announce an exciting new way we want to involve Creators in our creative process.

I’m excited to announce Open Studio! On Mondays (not every Monday, but always a Monday), someone from the design team will post to the community an idea, a design in flight, some interesting research, or a vision for the future. The purpose of this is to start a conversation between Creators and us folks on the Design team. So when we post, join in and let us know what you think. Any and all constructive feedback is welcomed (and we’ll frame our biggest questions in the post to help get things going).

This upcoming Monday, April 1st, we’ll be showing some designs we’ve been working on that help improve the layout of your creator page , including a better display of your creator information and cover photo and the ability to chose a custom brand color .

Thank you all for being awesome, and I can’t wait to show ya’ll some pixel next Monday.

In the mean time, meet our team (pictured below, but they also will be introducing themselves in this thread):

:heart: Vanessa, Kristine, Amy, Nicholas, Darby, Amanda, Simon, Alisha, Scott, Annie, Ben, Alex, and Alpaca


This is awesome to hear! I will be keeping an eye out for these posts for sure! (Though im not likely to be around too much on april 1st since april fools day makes internet browsing incredibly frustrating but I’ll keep an eye to my email for notification
of the post either way!)

Thanks for giving us the chance to be involved in all this!


Nice! Always looking for tips to make what I am doing better.


:wave: Hey creators!

I’m Scott, one of the product designers at Patreon. Since joining Patreon in 2015, I’ve had the opportunity to work on a bunch of projects, such as the recent design & navigation refresh, the Discord integration, Lens, and the first creator page redesign (ca. 2016). These days, I primarily work on our design system (the underlying components of Patreon’s UI), as well as the creator page improvements Ben mentioned in the post above.

I’m really excited for you all to see some of the stuff we’re working on, and to read your feedback!


Hi Creators! I’m Kristine, a product designer at Patreon. I’ve been working on app integrations that help you deliver benefits to your patrons and simplify your workflow. I’m looking forward to sharing some of our ideas and learning more about what types of integrations you’d love to see!


Hello creators,

I’m a product designer, focusing on how creators can grow their business. I’ve worked on projects like Special Offers, Merch for Membership, and setting up and managing your public creator pages. I’m looking forward to sharing and getting your feedback on some exciting upcoming work!


This sounds great! I can’t wait for the first post. :slightly_smiling_face:


Hey there! :sparkling_heart: I’m Amy, another product designer here at Patreon. I work on improving the core creator experience across the website and mobile apps. I do read and appreciate all the input and ideas from this forum, so I can’t wait to share some in-progress designs and get your thoughts. :nerd_face:


Hi Creators! I’m Annie - a user researcher here at Patreon :mag_right: To make sure we are doing right by our 100,000+ Creators and 2 million Patrons, the user research team loves to hear what you think. If you haven’t yet participated in research with us, I am excited to tell you about our process and how we go about collecting feedback from creators like you before we make changes.


Hi creators! I’m Simon, a product designer focused on our upcoming Team Accounts features. I also work with Amy on improving our core creator tools and we’ve been paying close attention to all of your requests and pain-points (so please keep that feedback coming!). Looking forward to chatting with you all! :orange_heart:


Hey, folks—

I’m Alex, one of two brand designers on Patreon’s design team. My job is to bring our mission-driven brand to life. As an active patron since 2013, I have always strongly believed in Patreon’s power to allow patrons like me to directly support the valuable and unique work produced by creators like all of you.

Since joining the Patreon team last year, my design work has included significant support for our larger-scale events. My participation in the design and production of events like PatreCon and SXSW has given me many opportunities to meet with and learn from creators like each of you.

I’m looking forward to the conversations we’ll be having here, and excited to think of how they’ll help me to better articulate our brand.

:wave: :smiley: :wave:


Hi there! :wave:

I’m Alisha, the other brand designer! I am currently focused on redesigning Patreon’s webpages (new stuff coming soon!), but you’ll usually find me working closely with Alex in developing our visual language across events, social media, e-mails, presentations, etc. I’m looking forward to any and all feedback from you all!

Fun fact: My avatar was illustrated by Darby, another designer on our team, on the same day the team picture was taken! You can tell by the hat :wink:



I’m Vanessa - I head up our Experience Research team. We work with product, engineering, and design to help connect our product development back to creator and patron needs. We’re a small but mighty team who loves talking to creators and tackling difficult problems.

You may have already worked with us :slight_smile: If you receive an email from me or my team asking for your participation in a research study, it’s because we want to hear about your experience. Sometimes we’re trying to answer a very specific question or get feedback on a new concept, other times, we’re having open ended, exploratory conversations with creators. We also occasionally send surveys! We read and consider all feedback from surveys and research sessions, so please participate if you hear from us!

Looking forward to future conversations!


I look forward to seeing what you all come up with!


Hey, since everyone here seems to be a Patreon product designer, I have a question. Am I going crazy, or did the font change recently? Not on the back end, that clearly changed … I’m specifically asking here about the patron-facing stuff. I just have a vague sense of our page feeling less fun to look at lately, and I can’t pin it down any further than that.


Just so you know, I’m really liking the Lens feature, I use it all the time… :heart:


Hey @hilljam — great question!

A few weeks back when we rolled out a refresh of the design of Patreon, we also updated some of the fonts, so good eye there. Previously we were using a font called GT America. We found it problematic in a few ways (cost, legibility, didn’t “feel” right). We did quite a lot of studies of different font options to find something that balanced utility and “feel”. We ended up choosing a font called Aktiv Grotesk for smaller text, and GT Walsheim (the font our logo is set in) for bigger text. Below is an image of the change:

Both examples have the same font size and color, so you can see the legibility improvement pretty clearly in the smaller text.

So, that’s the change font-wise. But to address your feedback about the page feeling less fun, it might be the font, but it also could be that we changed the overall style of the page, including removing the grey background, updating button colors/styles, and using a new style for containers. Our aim was to have our design recede to allow Creator’s work to take center stage, but that also might leave you with that “less fun” feeling, which is totally fair.

Good news, though — as I mentioned in the original post, on Monday we’ll be sharing some updates to the creator page that hopefully address your feedback. I encourage you to stop back and share you feedback on those designs, we’d love to hear it!


Ben, thanks for this! I’m glad to know I’m not imagining things.

If I could quantify my experience further, it would be like this: seeing blocks of body text on creator pages has a new feeling about it, which is “Reading this feels like it’s going to be work.” I think that I can attribute my reaction here to two factors.

First, I think I’m getting a slightly claustrophobic feeling, caused by putting the extra character weight into the same amount of space, and the resulting diminished white space.

Second, the thicker overall line weights in the face seem to have a density about them that drags down the reading experience. You know how when someone sets an entire paragraph of text in bold, it’s harder/slower to read? Like that, just subtler and more insidious.

To put it more abstractly: the body text, as I’m experiencing it, has stopped floating and has started hulking. For me, the net result is that this discourages my desire to engage.

Hopefully this makes sense! Of course this is just one person’s subjective experience; but I thought I’d share it, in case you’re in a place where feedback is helpful to your process. Thanks again for everything!


@hilljam — the Design team is swooning over the depth of your feedback!

I appreciate you perspective on this, and generally agree that the consumption experience on Patreon has a lot of room to grow. Specific to your feedback on type, I think we need to do some type studies on the creator page to rebalance things. America is just a smaller typeface than Aktiv, so what felt normal at 14pt with America feels a little big and the lines are a little too tight together to get that flow reading experience that we feel in books.

Thanks for bringing this up. We stare at our product every day, and sometimes get a little blind to things like this, so I really appreciate you taking the time to write this out.


I met with two lovely ladies, Amanda and Christine. They were super interested in my process - and I was willing to share! They even asked about my step-by-step process as to how I write, and then share my essays with my patrons. They asked about every app I use, what time I get up, and how I come up with each topic. I was rather fascinated by their attention to detail as details are my kryptonite.

Looking forward to the reveal next Monday.