GitHub Summit Austin

Research / Brand / Event Design


GitHub gathered all of their employees for an internal summit in Austin, TX. This was the first summit in over 2 years and the first after being bought by Microsoft. I was in charge of leading research and design for the event. The themes uncovered in the research became the foundation for the brand and curriculum of the event. I extended the brand over all digital assets, signage, and swag.

GitHub Summit Key graphic


Aligning on a problem

What is the problem we are trying to solve? ≠ What can and should we accomplish at Summit? The latter jumps to solutions without understanding what the need is.

Design Studio

A design studio is a structured brainstorming session used to research and collect data that solves a problem.


We invited a diverse subset of hubbers to participate in the design studio. Diversity for summit meant hubbers that have just joined to those who have been here for 5+ years, representatives from different teams and orgs, ethnicity, gender, location distribution, remote or HQ, parents, and so on.

The challenge statements:

  • How do you want to feel when leaving summit?
  • After what we’ve discussed, what themes do you think are the most important? List 3.
kanban board of research

Main themes

At the end of the research sessions we synthesized the data into 3 key themes. In working with the executive team we able to find overlap between their goals and outcomes for the event and the sentiment of their audience.

3 key themes listed with icons


To incorporate these themes into the branding I did a word association exercise and selected key words to create mood boards. I produced three options with proposed themes for the event.

  • Centers on using organic shapes and layering, to show understanding where we overlap and how the shapes are working together.
  • All directions use hand-written, bold, organic type and bright colors to exude confidence in an exciting future.
  • Imagery uses the textures, hand-made type, and organic shapes to feel different and personal for hubbers.
Logo sketchesdifferent design exploration for eventdifferent design exploration for eventdifferent design exploration for event

Final brand & event assets

Forward together became the theme of the event and after selecting the direction I cleaned up the logo and finalized the elements so I could apply them to signage, swag, and more.

Brand key graphic with logo and explanation
decorative designed yellow bandana decorative designed red bandana decorative designed green bandana decorative designed teal bandana enamel pin designphoto of enamel pinsPhoto of some holding a branded name badgeGitHub summit branded sign decalsummit branded email header