The Automattic design team is excited to be celebrating 10 years of Jetpack. Born in March of 2011, Jetpack has been helping millions of customers around the world amplify their voices, give them peace of mind when it comes to securing their site, and help them grow their business or hobby.
To celebrate this momentous occasion, we designed a campaign around the benefits Jetpack offers our customers on a daily basis.
The obvious place to start our very early explorations were around the number 10, trying to get a feel for what would be possible with different typographic approaches.
Even though the project scope was just a banner for Jetpack.com’s blog and a couple collaterals, we used this project to push the boundaries of our brand and the existing visual design, while staying true to our core values and brand persona, and this led us into two different directions.
An homage to technical advancements at a functional human scale, rather than the vast mysteries of space. Think: your own personal Jetpack! This design makes use of retro styles from the 50’s and 60’s for a celebratory vibe.
Jetpack naturally lends itself to a space allegory, and we used that metaphor to highlight the idea of surrounding stellar elements around your core site. Because we wanted the focus to be on your site and these galactic metaphors, we used basic geometries, reduced color usage, and constrained ourselves to fairly strict layouts.
Crowdsourcing the direction
It’s worth mentioning that we only had a couple of weeks to work on this campaign and while this early exploration was fruitful we needed to go for a single theme and commit to it.
To help us choose a direction we decided to involve the entire Jetpack division (we’re almost at a hundred people now!). We presented both directions and asked everyone what theme resonated most with them.
At this point we had some deliverables in mind, but that seemed very narrow for a first iteration and not inspiring enough. As designers we know that presentation is not just critical for any design but it’s an intrinsic part of it. As such, we framed this work as an art gallery showing and presented the poster that encapsulated the art direction for each theme, asking folks to vote on the one that connected most with them.
The feedback from our colleagues was great and got everyone excited about this occasion. It was a close call but the space theme pulled ahead at the end.
The last phase of this work consisted of polishing up the space visuals for external marketing purposes, collecting real-world data that clearly displayed the impact of a product like Jetpack, and integrating the two into all sorts of deliverables for the campaign: emails, assets for social media and blog posts, among others.
Next came the creation of commemorative swag for our team. Because these items were for internal use, we explored both the space and Bauhaus approaches to the team swag. We put the designs to a vote and ended up choosing Bauhaus for tshirts and space for stickers.
One of the potential ideas we discussed even before starting this project was to create a micro-site to showcase some of these impressive stats in a more meaningful way. This would be a great opportunity to craft a more living thing in addition to all other deliverables.
Thankfully, the final illustrations lended themselves to a richer medium, so we launched a website too where we got to craft animations for each of them: https://jetpack.com/ten/
This was a really fun project to be a part of. It was a great testament to the collaboration of designers and the entire Jetpack team. It was also a really great exercise of branding and pure visual design that we, as Product Designers, don’t get to do very often.
Finally, we went full circle with the website and we’re so glad we did — it was a great reminder of why the web is such a powerful tool when compared to traditional media, and how the two can perfectly complement each other.
For the last 10 years, we’ve been happy to help you protect, speed up, and grow your business or hobby. Thanks for letting us travel with you on your journey towards success. Learn more about Jetpack.
Like what you see? Then maybe you’d love working here. We’re looking for great designers to help us meet bold growth and quality goals. We’re a small, fully distributed company with a huge footprint, helping people express themselves and earn a living—and our mission is more vital than ever. Join our team of diverse, global perspectives building a better web, and connect your career to the power of Open Source.