To create a new identity and web animation for ethereum.org
Ethereum is an open-sourced, decentralized platform for P2P applications and digital currencies. At the time of writing, its currency “ether” is the second most popular digital (crypto) currency in the world after Bitcoin. It has reached a market cap of 24,395 million by the time of writing. Ethereum website is hosted on ethereum.org and had about 136 million visits in the last year alone.
Moving into the new phase, the foundation needed a new identity for the ethereum brand that is more contemporary, inclusive and reflecting its current personality. The original website was built after the project was first released in 2015 and in need of an update.
Prior to the commission, I had carried out a survey on the Ethereum UX among current and potential users. The result was clear that most people currently involved in the ecosystem are people who seek to build, develop an application using its smart contract technology. Their perception matters as the website would be their go-to place when looking for further resources about the protocol. Therefore, the design has to be minimalistic but at the same time informative and robust.
Read more about the research on MetaCartel
As I continue to research for a concept that would best translate Ethereum brand’s contemporary brand personality, it is apparent that the unique positioning of Ethereum is what makes it different from other blockchains and in this case, there is nothing worth celebrating than the vibrant community.
The work consists of two major elements: Dialect and The New Octahedron.
Dialect is a statement of inclusion and diversity in the Ethereum community.
The familiarity of native speech assists the individuals in the understanding of notions as well as offers a sense of affinity and inclusion. When the word ‘Ethereum’ is used in a local context, it is translated into the language of that community. The first time I saw the word written in my mother tongue, Thai, it instantly gave me a sense of familiarity and inclusiveness in the very same way as when I overheard people having a conversation in Thai in an unexpected place. By internalising this experience, I was able to grasp that this open-source community is becoming a global village.
The New Octahedron is an emblem of collaboration and personalisation.
Ethereum’s visual identity is a three-dimensional octahedron platonic solid. The (reddit) folklore holds that Texture and Vitalik designed this symbol based on two ‘summation symbols (∑)’ rotated 45 degrees to each side. The winner of the bounty reworked this when, after the pre-sale was launched, it took on a diamond-like shape.
Today, Ethereum has become the world’s largest open-source blockchain community. Its core technology is used as novel solutions to real-world problems and serve a myriad of needs. We have come a long way from the initial two summation symbols.
If you have been part of the ecosystem for a while like I have, you will likely get to interact with Ethereum either via writing your own smart contract, contributing to the improvement and maintenance of the base protocol, designing an interface for decentralised applications, mining and trading cryptocurrency, building a community, etc. It is safe to say that no experiences are the same, so perception toward the brand image is individual.
What better way to visualise Ethereum than to embrace the creativity of our talented community? Therefore I turned to my friends who are an artist and a pioneer in the Non-Fungible Token (NFT) arts: Ilan Katin, Mattia Cuttini, Oficinas TK, XCOPY. Each of us creates our own version of Ethereum’s brand image. All the artwork is then layered and stitched together to form a loop animation of a consistent flow of identity.