Cryptocurrency has an image problem. After a wave of momentum and buzz, including a Super Bowl 2022 full of crypto ads, the collapse of crypto network Terra and exchange FTX’s bankruptcy last year sent the market into disarray.
So when Token.com, which calls itself a “crypto disruptor,” enlisted 20something last year to relaunch its brand globally, it faced a major challenge: how do you win over audiences in these murky waters, as the buzz surrounding Web3 has quietened?
“There’s this big, lofty idea of what we think is the token economy or what will come eventually–but nobody understands half of what people talk about with crypto and Web3,” Isabel Ron-Pedrique, Token.com’s head of design, told Adweek. “How can we make this future token world humanized to regular people, who don’t want the heaviness of jargon and complexity of technology?”
Launched in Brazil in 2017 as a stealth project, Token.com largely existed in beta form. It turned to 20something to build a more accessible brand that would help crypto finally break into the mainstream.
Inspired by the space race
To do this, Token.com needed to not look like any other crypto brand. Other brands in the industry are “perpetuating these problems” of mistrust and inaccessibility, said Docx: “They have these inscrutable, complex images, dark colors and everything in acronyms. There was an opportunity to create something that felt like light had been shone into the space, without dark or shady corners. It’s crypto in technicolor.”
Token.com’s new visual identity looks more like a social app than a digital trading floor. The agency’s aim was to “make everything super simple, snackable and easy to understand. Everything is wrapped up in storytelling,” Docx said.
20something’s design team drew inspiration from another technological turning point–the 1960s space race. Their branding for Token.com is a modern interpretation of designer Rutherford Craze’s MD Nichrome typeface, which is based on the typography of paperback science fiction books from the 1970s and early ‘80s.