Pinterest inspires you to discover and do what you love. It sparks your creativity, gets you trying new things, builds your confidence and helps you be yourself.
As a brand, we bring all this to life by following 7 must-haves for everything we do—the commercials we shoot, events we host, billboards in Times Square….all the way down to our own ads and offsites.
1. Give it a human touch
Pinterest is personal. Other places are for connecting with friends. People come here to relax, recharge and reconnect with themselves. We celebrate that unique Pinner experience in everything we create.
Bring warmth and humanity into the work—give it a human touch
Could be literal (Pinner faces and hands) or implied (delightfully human wordplay, intentional imperfection)
Never generic or robotic
Nothing too scrapbooky or crafty—think handcrafted, not homemade
Our Pinners are the reason we're here. By sharing their stories, we help our audiences feel that personal connection to our brand. We show Pinners getting creative, trying new things, gaining confidence and really being themselves.
Pinterest 100 (2018)
Instead of going for one standardized corporate illustration style, we hired two Pinners, both “on the rise” illustrators, to draw our Pinterest 100. We wanted to deliberately celebrate their differences and call attention to the living, breathing people behind the design.
The Workshop is Pinterest come to life—a real-world space where the Pinner community can meet and teach each other something new. At the Workshop, Pinners are the star, with Pinterest the brand taking the back seat.
2. Keep it fresh
We go our own way, and approach each creative challenge with fresh eyes and an open playfulness. It’s all about building on what we’ve done and staying true to who we are.
Make it vibrant, energetic, interesting, unique
Build on the momentum of previous work
Not just new for new’s sake
Nothing boring or overly earnest
Knit Con (2014–2018)
In 2014, we kicked off Knit Con, a fresh employee-teaching-employees take on the typical internal conference. Each year we reinvent the branding, while still staying true to the spirit of the conference. For 2018, we put a new twist on things, mixing the bold Knit Con color palette with the joyful messiness of trying something new.
Pinterest 100 (2017–2018)
At the end of each year, we collect 100 upcoming trends in a book as a gift for our partners. The trends change from year to year, and the design flexes to match. But it always remains recognizably our P100.
Instead of the standard business case study, we woke things up by playing with pacing, music, color, pattern and scale.
3. Show what’s true
The more real, the better. We show relatable people doing ordinary and extraordinary things, living in their natural surroundings—nothing fake or forced.
Go for honest, natural stories and situations
Show people putting their own spin on things
Don’t force it
Nothing overly scripted or “perfect”
Don’t stoop to stereotypes or make it seem like there’s only one way to do things
UK campaign (2018)
Our 2018 spots for the UK featured actors specially selected for their normal-ness, showing them trying things that were truly trending on Pinterest. At every phase along the way, we did research with the locals to confirm which language and scenarios resonated best.
We show real people being themselves, doing things inspired by ideas they discover on Pinterest. Everything from our quote-driven interview style to the in-situ photography celebrates and even elevates that realness (editing out the umms, thoughtful lighting in dimmer spaces).
From our buildings and events to our gifts and printed collateral, we celebrate the materials we use by letting them play to their strengths. We never cover things up or force elements to masquerade as something they’re not. Wood is wood, concrete is concrete, pins are pins.
4. Inspire people to try it
Our work invites people in to play and encourages them to try something new. We leave some things open to the imagination, so people feel like they can do it their way and make it their own.
Get people fired up to play and experiment (motivating music, rousing calls to action)
Make things approachable and supportive
Could be literal (hands on tutorial) or more abstract (taglines that make you think, like “What will you try next?”)
Nothing pretentious, random or gimmicky
Don’t be pushy or rah-rah cheerleader-y
Our annual employee yearbook not only celebrates the people who work at Pinterest, but it also draws you into the moments from the previous year, inviting you to write, draw and play games as you thumb through the pages.
SXSW taste tuner (2018)
This interactive landscape helped people understand the technology that powers Pinterest by inviting them to swipe and play with images of their favorite foods and styles. Along the way, they discovered more about their own personal tastes.
We create spaces that encourage people to relax, be themselves and try new things (a lot like the Pinterest app itself)—right down to the play-friendly copy.
5. Respect your audience
Be respectful of people’s time and energy. Take the time to learn who they are and what they care about. Then prioritize the info they need and the experiences they connect with.
Look at things through Pinners’ eyes
Carefully select what’s most relevant
Find lagom (Swedish for “not too much, not too little”) within each context
Give people something they can really use
No throwaway swag
Don’t waste people’s time
Don’t do things out of self-interest or purely business reasons
Don’t overdo it (red everywhere, pun overload, oceans of statistics)
Our terms of service
Every company has a version of their terms of service. Ours takes the legalese jargon and simply translates it so that anyone can easily understand it. Our product is built for people, which is why everything we write sounds like comes from a real person.
When Ben spoke at Shoptalk “the world’s largest retail & eCommerce conference,” we needed a way to appeal to its non-techy audience. Instead of focusing on the greater Pinterest story, we designed our presentation to focus on the unique aspects of our shopping experience.
NYC—Shop the look invite (2016)
For the invite to this fashion industry event, we created a GIF that combined the Pinterest shopping icon (the circle) with a camera-flash-style animation and imagery from street-style photographer Phil Oh as an emotional nod to the fashion scene.
Anything worth doing is worth doing well, which means every detail is thoughtfully considered. We choose quality over quantity, making sure every element serves a purpose and would make your mama proud.
Create high-quality, well-built experiences
Consider every detail and touchpoint
Pressure test everything
Find the single message we’re trying to articulate
Don’t make things people don’t want (useless swag, unnecessary email, cheap puns)
Nothing sloppy, flimsy or arbitrary
Don’t cut corners—if we can’t make it good, we don’t do it at all
In the making (2018)
Instead of the usual throwaway conference tote, we gave attendees a coveted Baggu shopper, customized with the event’s signature twist-and-turn celebration of the creative process. By partnering with such a respected, creative bag maker, we not only gave people a bag they’d love and use, we also captured the spirit of the event itself.
Email subject lines
In the fast-moving, highly optimized world of growth, there’s a lot of pressure to throw stuff on the wall and see what sticks. But we never test anything that doesn’t feel on brand. And when a winner does emerge, we weigh it in the context of the larger experience before we ship it.
UK campaign endcard (2018)
The three spots we created for British television all ended with the same line: "Good ideas start here." Many, many options were considered (and tested) before we landed on this one simple line.
7. Look to the future
Other sites focus on the past, but Pinterest is a place to dream up and plan what’s next. We get people excited about making their next move, and inspire them to get started.
Encourage people to try something new—win or fail
Reflect Pinterest’s unique value as tool for planning and dreaming
Don’t focus on perfection
Never deliberately trigger FOMO
SXSW theme (2018)
The space we created for SXSW 2018 was an open invitation to find ideas you might want to try. The headline of event, “What will you try next?” was intentionally set in the future tense, which is where/when Pinterest inspires people to dream about.
Future U is an internal event that helps employees map out their personal career path, and explore where they want their work life to take them next.
For 2018, the Pinterest space at Cannes focused on creatives, and what they might do next. All the stories and elements of the space were created to inspire and encourage attendees to make something and create their next big thing.