Zerply – a professional network that employs typography to net users

From the end of the alphabet to the tip of your tongue, Zerply is the tech startup everyone is tweeting about this week. So, why do these guys think they can they give LinkedIn a run for their money? Well, because Tina Roth Eisenberg (aka Swiss Miss) says so. Her blog post about Zerply sent the online design community into a sign-up flurry causing Zerply’s servers to take some strain.

I must confess I was among those who took a renewed interest and signed up right away. I remember taking a look at Zerply back in February after Styleboost posted about the design, but I didn’t take much further notice.

Swiss Miss’s traffic has skewed their current user base toward creative types, but maybe they are the intended target audience after all? Take a look at the leading tags and skills currently listed:

Zerply tags and skills

They have certainly tailored the user interface (which is a breeze to use) and public profile themes to appeal to the designer’s discerning eye. There are currently four profile themes to choose from:

Zerply theme - The poster child

↑ The Poster Child by Mike Kus

Zerply theme - The Conservative

↑ The Conservative by Elliot Jay Stocks

Zerply theme - The American

↑ The American by Rogie King

Zerply theme - The Swiss

↑ The Swiss by Luke Beard

And here’s where they really exhibit an understanding of their target user: the fourth theme is locked.

Apart from the fact that the Swiss-style poster theme by their resident designer Luke Beard (the Zerply team all live together in one house!) is rather appealing, the mere fact that it is not available makes it infinitely more desirable. In order to unlock and use the theme, you have to get at least three friends to sign up to Zerply using the unique link they provide you.

Yup, we designers are such suckers for exclusivity. Needless to say I begged, blackmailed and coaxed three friends (ok, one was my sister and one was my wife – I picked easy targets) into signing up.

Check out my profile on Zerply. Goodbye LinkedIn? Maybe…

By Typedeck

Typedeck started out as a collection of hand-picked creative news, resources and inspiration on the night of 5 June 2011.