PagerDuty is a cloud computing company that produces a SaaS incident response platform for IT departments. Through its SaaS-based platform, PagerDuty empowers developers, DevOps, IT operations and business leaders to prevent and resolve business-impacting incidents for exceptional customer experience.
As Head of Design, I built an in-house design team and lead the direction and design of a strategic brand refresh. PagerDuty was shifting from an alerting tool to an incident response platform. A brand refresh was needed to elevate the brand.
I started as the first designer for PagerDuty, an engineering-driven company. PagerDuty was growing rapidly, not just in number of employees, but in customers as well. I saw a need for strong brand recognition and demonstrated the importance of a re-brand for the company.
Since we were growing, PagerDuty needed an updated look and feel. PagerDuty was graduating from a scrappy startup into the enterprise space - it was starting to truly lead the way as a incident management platform.
To help with the rebrand (and to support all the design needs of the company), I built an in-house design team of 5 people: 1 full time interaction designer, 1 full time web developer, and 3 contract designers.
Once the founders were onboard (and this was a very laborious process of several meetings, discussions, and presentations), I wrote a Creative Brief for the brand refresh project to help formulate the concept, strategy, and execution.
I then began with a visual audit. I collected all of the existing assets of the PagerDuty logo. The original logo was designed quickly - it was created in 5 minutes. It was a great concept at the time, and served its purpose. It is a very literal logomark. But, as an identity needed to be present in other places, other media, we ended up with many variations. Also, no rules were applied - the logo was many greens. It was not tested in the various environments it would be used and there were several versions - each logo was created individually for each surface. There were several variations in color, spacing, and layout.
I conducted internal and external interviews. Internal interviews were with several PagerDuty employees and stakeholders. External interviews were with long time and loyal PagerDuty customers. Once interviews were concluded, I worked with the marketing and product teams to synthesize the data. We created a brand brief, brand prism, and personas.
Once these were finalized, I started logo explorations. I started with the logo because it is the toughest visual asset to design for a brand, and because it sets the foundation for all other design assets. Part of our growth as a company, was to create a unique brand identity. A brand is much more than a logo. But it starts with a logo. So that’s what we did. Taking the research, we explored a logo mark. We were to present 3 logos to the E-team.
The inspiration? for the PagerDuty logo in the simplest terms: we connect systems and people. And we chose to go with that as the base of our logo design. We were looking for a typeface that was a square sans-serif with a roundedness. We felt it was a good visual representation that bridges technology and people.
The typeface is a Google font called Audiowide. It is a sans serif, technology-styled, typeface composed of soft cornered tubes. It is clean and readable...somewhat. (Some of those characters are questionable.)
So what did we learn? We learned that design at PagerDuty follows a process with heavy emphasis on collaboration. At PagerDuty, design is a process. Design is a holistic approach. Design is inclusive. Design is for everyone.
We collaborated with our architects to design the PagerDuty office space. Located in the SoMa district of San Francisco, the PagerDuty office is 14,600 square feet and provides needed flexible workspace for our engineering, creative, and administrative teams.