In SMPL Q+A, we interview our practitioners on all things relevant to branding, design and simplicity. Here, we speak with our experts about our work with Rigetti, a full-stack quantum computing company, and their first commercially available quantum processing unit (QPU), the Novera QPU. Read the official announcement from Rigetti here.
Can you describe Rigetti’s history with Siegel+Gale?
Sean Carney, Director, Experience Production: Siegel+Gale created the Rigetti brand visual identity in 2019—and a website to match. An interoffice, cross-practice Siegel+Gale team worked hand-in-hand with Rigetti to rapidly iterate their brand identity. The website was launched in only three weeks (as an MVP with core pages only) and upgraded several weeks later in a fast-follow sprint.
Why did Rigetti re-engage Siegel+Gale?
Sean Carney: In 2023, Rigetti prepared for their next evolution: marketing their first physical product—which Siegel+Gale named “the Novera QPU”—the premiere “personal” quantum computer that any lab or institution can own and experiment with.
Naturally, Rigetti turned to Siegel+Gale as the all-important launch was only months away, and the company needed experience in bringing a physical product to market.
Can you explain the development of the Novera QPU product strategy?
Miranda Wolf, Associate Strategy Director: To develop the Novera QPU brand, we worked collaboratively with the Rigetti team to quickly get up to speed on Rigetti’s business goals, cutting-edge technology and how Novera QPU is impacting the quantum computing landscape. It was critical to ensure that the new brand could live independently but also clearly tie back to the Rigetti primary brand. We also really wanted to get into the mindset of the target audience and understand what the Novera QPU will help them accomplish and how ownership would make them feel.
How does it fit into the Rigetti brand?
Miranda Wolf: Rigetti’s mission is to “build the world’s most powerful computers to help solve humanity’s most important problems.” It was crucial that the Novera QPU brand help to further this mission. Communicating that the Novera QPU uses the same technology as Rigetti’s most powerful QPUs is a huge part of the overall Novera QPU value proposition.
Can you talk about the Novera QPU’s messaging and positioning?
Miranda Wolf: With the positioning and messaging, we wanted to convey the excitement and research potential that the Novera QPU makes possible. A big piece of this is how, with a Novera QPU, you are becoming part of a community of experts working to define not only the quantum computing industry but how quantum computing can be used. The Novera QPU allows researchers to have hands-on access to previously unavailable hardware so that they can explore, tinker, educate and push their research forward.
Can you tell us about the meaning behind the Novera QPU name?
Aaron Hall, Group Director, Naming: Novera comes from the Italian word for “nine” and “era” but also cues the idea of “nova” or new. In other words, Novera starts the story about an explosion of innovation into a new era of quantum computing, beginning with a 9-qubit QPU.
How was the Novera QPU logo developed?
Mei Wing Chan, Associate Creative Director: As a product identity, we knew the logo we created for the Novera QPU would be a unique wordmark that could be paired with the Rigetti brand logo easily to form a simple brand architecture. The selected logo uses its primary typeface as a foundation, and we were fortunate with the Novera QPU name as the letterforms made it effortless to tell a distinct story through typography alone. The V and A form arrows signaling the down and upward measurements of qubits ending on a trajectory of progression and discovery while also creating symmetry. Through the cuts in the E and R, we wanted to convey the idea that Novera QPU can fill in the gaps of existing knowledge and provide solutions for the lofty questions that Rigetti customers want to solve.
What inspired the design for the Novera product page? How were the Rigetti design guidelines expanded to include Novera?
Mei Wing Chan: Leaning into the brand identity and visual system we created for Rigetti in 2019, we designed the product page using existing grid templates and content modules. As a way of creating distinction, we introduced a holding shape that was inspired by the Rigetti icon. This shape becomes a background for product photography and a container for content, messaging and form fields. While the Novera QPU’s product shots play a heroic role in the layout, technical specifications are also prominently featured so customers can dive deep into Novera’s immense capabilities. The product page was created to fit into the Rigetti digital experience while establishing a little moment of its own.
How was the Novera QPU’s debut brought to life on Rigetti.com? How did this support the product launch?
Sean Carney: It was important that all of the Novera QPU’s publicity—earned and owned—had a destination to point to. Customers needed a place to learn about the Novera QPU and order their own. Thus, a deluxe product landing page was created by Siegel+Gale, in conjunction with the Rigetti team and their digital developers, to showcase capabilities and specifications for a system with the low (for quantum) price of $900,000.00. And, yes, there’s what is, in effect, a “buy now” button in case any readers are interested in ordering!
How did brand and the product strategy inform the Novera QPU’s UX—as expressed on the product page and the Rigetti.com home page?
David Reis, Senior Strategist, Experience: This project was an exercise in establishing an effective information hierarchy. The Novera QPU product is advertised on the home page, just below a commitment to innovation, which serves as evidence that the brand is following through.
The product page invites potential customers to shape the future with the power of accessible quantum technology. We front-loaded the page with value propositions and product specs to build understanding, followed by use cases, operating requirements, and price to validate its feasibility. Like the product, this page is designed to help customers get their hands on quantum.
We knew we needed a world-class team to support the strategy and design of introducing the Novera QPU to the world. Siegel+Gale exceeded our expectations and assembled a top-notch team of experts to work on naming, messaging, experience, and positioning. Siegel+Gale seamlessly became an extension of our team. The Novera QPU launch is an expression of Rigetti’s pioneering capabilities—and a testament to Siegel+Gale’s abilities to deeply understand and deliver on our go-to-market needs.
—Rebecca Malamud, Senior Marketing & Comms Manager, Rigetti