Calendly is the leading global cloud-based scheduling platform, offering over 10 million monthly active users an easy way to manage spaces in their calendars and set up meetings by showing only available time slots, bypassing the hassle of back-and-forth emails and phone calls. The innovative software integrates with other platforms like Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook, as well as Slack, Zoom, GoToMeeting and more, seamlessly taking people from finding time in their schedules to gathering at their virtual meeting places of choice.
Pentagram has developed a new brand identity framework for Calendly that reflects its intelligent design, improved workflows and incredible ease of use. The update encompasses brand strategy and messaging, as well as a comprehensive visual language, including a new brand mark, typography and iconography. The update is the first significant change to Calendly’s brand identity since the company launched in 2013.
The new identity conveys the effortless integration of Calendly into users’ everyday lives. Layers of colors and shapes suggest the idea of coming together and create a distinct visual for each meeting and working session. The system captures what Calendly is—collaboration that is distinct and effortless, and that harmoniously aids different persons, groups, organizations and communities in finding the space to converge.
Pentagram worked closely with Calendly founder and CEO Tope Awotona and his team to develop the framework. Calendly is revolutionary in its category: It was the first intelligent scheduling software to go into users’ calendars across platforms and find overlapping availability. This simplicity is complemented by a viral growth strategy—Calendly invites link users to Calendly itself, so if they try it and like it they can start using it themselves. Plans range from free to premium and professional enterprise solutions.
The rebrand coincides with a period of growth and innovation at the company, which wanted to modernize its visuals to reflect its current and future capabilities and ambition. Calendly recently received a $350 million investment from OpenView Venture Partners and Iconiq, and has been valued by some estimates at around $3 billion. Usership has increased as working remotely has taken hold, and the company wanted to stand out in a growing category that includes competitors like Google and Microsoft, as well as numerous startups.
People obviously love the product, and Calendly wanted a brand identity that was engaging, expressive and versatile. The platform makes it easier and more fluid to find the overlap in two people’s or group’s availability, to set meetings for every type of scenario. The challenge for the Pentagram designers was to convey this idea from a visual perspective. The framework utilizes a combination of modernist typography with geometric touches and a comprehensive visual system of fluxional shapes and colors that embrace the fluidity of Calendly through intersection and interplay.
“For too long, the symbol of Calendly was a simple C, suspended in a light grey box that resembled a calendar. After eight years and hundreds of millions of scheduled meetings later, our customers have led us to what our core value is: Making it easy for people to connect by eliminating friction in the process.” says Awotona. “That’s what I love about our new designs—the overlapping intersections evoke the feeling of people coming together and creating something unique. That’s the way we want Calendly users to feel when they schedule time with their colleagues, clients, and friends.”
The Pentagram team first developed a new brand strategy that centers on the concept of fluency. This was chosen for its duality in meaning: Calendly is about speaking each other’s language, calendar-wise, as well as fluidity in motion and interaction. The positioning highlights the platform as refreshing and easy, with a momentum and flow that is graceful, effortless and fluently aligned, fluently versatile and fluently conversational.
This is captured in the new brand line, “Easy ahead,” a statement that is forward-looking and dynamic and hints at both the navigational and conversational aspects of Calendly. It reinforces the idea that the software makes it simple to connect and is always syncing and seeking harmony between people, calendars, integrations, time zones, languages and more.
The Pentagram team also consulted on terminology for the product, including identifying the software as a “calendar translator” that can work across different platforms and speak other people’s languages. The tone of messaging is warm, friendly and empathetic, with vocabulary that feels freeing, just like the platform.
The framework introduces a new brand mark and logotype that are an evolution of previous versions, with a stronger and more modern presence. The mark is a hollow letter “C” that acts as a connector to be activated with other elements—a visual metaphor for finding overlaps in schedules, creatively coming together to make something new, and “capturing” opportunities. The symbol can contain an endless variety of colorful shapes and forms to suggest different situations. It is always changing and never looks the same way twice––just like the day.
The new wordmark still appears in a lowercase geometric sans like the previous logo, but with tightened spacing and a capitalized “C” that gives the name a sense of confidence and presence in line with the platform’s growth. The new logotype is set in Gilroy, a geometric sans serif (designed by Radomir Tinkov) with a clean, contemporary look that complements the brand’s functionality. Secondary type is set in Poppins and Arial.
The brand mark is the basic component in an expansive kit of parts that forms a holistic visual language. Containing forms within the logo is just one aspect of the system; these inner shapes may also expand outwards to form landscapes for the brand to live within. Combining shapes illustrates the idea of meeting up and finding space for interaction and gives the branding an organic visual rhythm.
The starting point for the system of shapes is the rounded hexagon form at the core of the Calendly mark. The shapes can be added and combined (or subtracted), doubled and tripled into something completely new, treated as outlines, or appear as 3D solid dimensional forms. The compositions may also thoughtfully integrate images and text. The galaxy of shapes can grow and evolve––and still be instantly recognizable as Calendly—as it is applied to brand communications such as promotional campaigns, social media assets, environmental graphics and murals, and digital contexts like the Calendly website.
The designers developed a comprehensive library of shapes in solid, line, or 3D forms, as well as detailed guidelines for how to create and combine new shapes. The geometric shapes start with a basic sharp-edged form, then add rounding to various degrees. The individual shapes can be combined to create new forms and colors, or scaled and cropped to fill the frame. Components from the logo and wordmark have been extracted and combined to create graphic patterns, and the designers also developed a series of custom icons for the platform based on the structure of the logomark.
Along with the shapes, color can be added or subtracted, drawing from a vibrant and progressive palette. The combinations frequently incorporate the brand color, a signature Calendly Blue that evolved from the lighter blue of the previous identity. (The old shade of blue is still part of the secondary palette.)
Illustration plays an important role in the brand system, used to simplify complex messaging, explain abstract concepts and add clarity to products and services. Pentagram collaborated with the British illustrator and designer Mike Lemanski to develop a cohesive visual language of line-based drawings. The fun and playful approach depicts people, objects like clocks and envelopes, and “Caly,” a squirrel-like mascot that navigates schedules to collect meetings and set events, helping users to understand Calendly. The branding also incorporates photography that feels lively, real and in the moment, reflecting the idea that Calendly brings people together.