Attributes

Articulating and upholding our brand beyond the aesthetic and trends of the day by focusing on what we and our customers truly value.

Attributes

Brand attributes are the values we strive to express through our brand—the adjectives we use to describe ourselves and the ideals to which we hold ourselves. The stories we tell, the colors and fonts we choose, and logos we share are obvious artifacts of our brand, but there’s more to a brand than artifacts. Much of GitHub’s brand value comes from our product, platform, and community, and we must protect and evolve it through these principles.

Our brand attributes

When something looks and feels GitHubby to you, you’re experiencing one or more of these brand principles.

Authentic

We are true to ourselves, our products, and our community above all else. We strive to be relatable and welcoming, without ever feeling ingenuine. We meet developers where they are, building experiences that are relevant, real, and solve actual problems.

  • We’re conversational and avoid unnecessary jargon.
  • We talk to our community like people, not users.
  • We stay true to our roots and mission, but never flaunt or showboat.

Nerdy

We’re excited about all things code, software, and technology, and how it intersects with life beyond devices. But even more so, we’re excited by the passions and enthusiasm of our community members—the offbeat, surprising, delighting, or even mind blowing things they themselves dig deep and “nerd out” on. An Action for pizza delivery? A Python library for knitting patterns? We love it all and want to celebrate the hacks, experiments, and innovations developers are creating everyday.

  • We don’t shy away from technical language. In fact, we make it approachable so more people can join in.
  • We lift up interesting and expert voices across the community—whether they’re industry influencers or a passionate hobbyist who is the expert on something very specific.
  • We push ourselves to add a little fun to our work, getting in the weeds with a niche community, taking the time to develop delightful easter eggs, or even an animation that surprises our users.

Empathetic

GitHub is what it is because of the people who power it. It’s a community-led platform made for developers, by developers. So, we listen to our developers and customers first and don’t assume that what’s best for GitHub is best for them. If we hear unexpected feedback, we make time to dig in and understand. We create tools and products that can have a real impact on the day-to-day, whether big or small.

  • We talk about “you” more than we talk about ourselves.
  • We focus on building relationships and trust over time.
  • We pay attention to (and celebrate) the little things.

Imaginative

We go beyond what’s expected to bring some magic or a wink into the experiences people have with GitHub. This might be showing developers a future that makes them question their assumptions, helping them form serendipitous connections, or coming up with a creative solution to a problem. We always push to be creative, capture soul, and be intentional in our thinking and our outputs.

  • We’re forward-thinking and optimistic about what’s next for our community.
  • We’re not afraid to share how announcements fit into a bigger picture or bold vision, to the extent we can deliver on our promises.
  • We don’t restrict ourselves, our thinking, or our brand to what’s deemed “the norm” or necessarily expected.

Confident

We are developer tool experts and strongly believe in the power of our products to make developers’ and business leaders’ lives better, while letting their needs lead the way. We are confident but not arrogant, we feel passionately about our vision and stand by it, but still show humility. We trust in ourselves and even more so in our communities, staying humble when collecting and accepting their feedback. We’re proud of the accomplishments the community makes everyday, and embrace the diversity that makes it what it is.

  • We are confident, but not ever arrogant.
  • We demonstrate ease with technical material and deep dives.
  • We’re not afraid to be bold with our product vision and announcements.
  • We back up what we say with thoughtful explanation when needed.
  • We are able to admit our faults and acknowledge ways we can improve.

How to use

Brand principles help us answer the question, “Is this GitHubby?” by asking deeper, more meaningful questions about our community. When evaluating a project or decision, ask yourself and your team the following questions.

  1. Who in our community is this for?
    For example: Developers, maintainers, enterprise execs, integrators, students

  2. Within that audience, are these newcomers to GitHub or superfans?
    On a sliding scale of 1 to 5, newcomer to superfan, how would you rate their familiarity with GitHub?

  3. What’s the primary or dominant principle for this audience?
    For example, with policy related work, don’t dial up the whimsical and instead focus on universal or approachable.

  4. Is this a one-off, or part of a larger program or initiative?
    For current events, make it timely and ephemeral. For something that’s meant to last, stick to our core artifacts.

  5. Lastly, once this project is shipped, how does someone feel about this? What action do they take from this project?
    What’s the emotional response we want to elicit? Is there a key takeaway our audience should have in their minds? Perhaps a call to action?

Need help evaluating projects by these principles and questions? Talk to a Design team member as early as possible.