Brand Identity in the Crypto Sector. How It Started and Why It’s Changing by@lenapixies

Brand Identity in the Crypto Sector. How It Started and Why It’s Changing

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Lena Anikeeva

Founder, Art Director at Pixies studio. Branding, web design & fashion design.

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When talking about crypto projects, people mainly speak about the qualities of the backend. But design, be it branding or UX, is no less important for such ventures. Moreover, the recent changes in preferences for visual style among crypto startups isn’t just a matter of taste or external trends – it gives away a lot about the evolution of the crypto market itself. As a head of the design agency that has been working with the crypto sector for a few years already, I have that evolution happening in front of my eyes and with my involvement.

Crypto Branding in the Late 2010s

Even though Bitcoin was established in 2009, the concept of cryptocurrencies gained awareness among the general public almost ten years later – in 2017. It was the year when Bitcoin broke its own record by reaching almost $20,000 and we experienced a major crypto boom worldwide. Everybody talked about it.


Eventually, a lot of crypto startups started to emerge. Too many, even. Due to the fierce competition, each of these new projects wanted to stand out from direct rivals and show that it’s different from the market of traditional financial services.


As a rule, those ventures were created by young, daring and fierce developers who had managed to rise to the top in the forefront of the crypto hype. Their crypto projects promised their clients freedom, hype, a quick buck and independence from centralized financial systems. Naturally, the entrepreneurs wanted a design that would match that by reflecting the digitization of money, the metaverse of cryptocurrencies and wilfulness.


As a result, during that era, all crypto projects had a certain style – vivid neon colors, neon light, the dark mode, references to outer space and abstract 3-D illustrations, inspired by blockchain technology. All that looked flamboyant, extravagant and different to everything that was before.

A great example of such branding would be Future Fintech, a financial consulting firm that helps “boring banking corporations incorporate disruptive technologies." The team behind the project used to call themselves “punks in suits”. Pixies developed the Future Fintech brand identity and website in 2018, using exactly the same design patterns that are described above – a dark theme, vivid colors, photography with glitch effects. All that expresses the idea of the urge to move forward, new technologies, disruption of the common ideas and stereotypes about the world of finance.


Future Fintech by Pixies Studio


Future Fintech by Pixies Studio

Future Fintech by Pixies Studio

Future Fintech by Pixies Studio

Future Fintech by Pixies Studio

Future Fintech by Pixies Studio

Future Fintech by Pixies Studio

Another example is Suicide Ventures, pioneers of blockchain. We created their brand identity in the same 2018. The central point of the concept is a metaphor – vertigo, which symbolizes a head-spinning portal to the world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Main colors include the "popular- among crypto projects" of that era, black, complemented by neon magenta and neon pink. Icons are inspired by the idea of travelling through outer space – black holes, portals, stars, big typography and grotesque fonts.


Suicide Ventures by Pixies

Suicide Ventures by Pixies Studio

Suicide Ventures by Pixies Studio


Suicide Ventures by Pixies Studio

Suicide Ventures by Pixies Studio

Suicide Ventures by Pixies Studio

Suicide Ventures by Pixies Studio

Crypto Branding Evolution

In the last two years, the crypto market has evolved significantly. Today, cryptocurrencies are becoming institutionalized, the field is attracting a totally different bunch of people, and the funding is changing too. Crypto is now a place for considerable venture funds and big investors. The market has turned into something more substantial and solid.


These days, crypto startups strive to obtain a reputation and turn into proper companies. The circumstances force founders to maneuver between lack of trust and their aspirations to build the financial market of the future. It stimulates them to be smart in communication, they need to be transparent and inspire confidence. In general, they should take all the best from the world of venture investments. Besides, while there are a lot of large and credible players in the field of crypto, there are also numerous scammers emerging almost every day.


With all that happening, crypto projects have been facing the necessity to recalibrate their branding in the opposite direction from what they preferred earlier. They need to distance themselves from the image of an eccentric and infantile business and follow the steps of grand venture funds both in terms of operating and visual style.


Consequently, design inquiries in the crypto sector have changed. Now founders are looking for their brand to communicate reliability and stability, look and feel trustworthy and transparent. At the same time, they still understand the importance of showing how they are different from traditional finances – innovative, interesting, bright and stand-out. Thus, now crypto projects choose the light mode with a more reserved color palette but try to keep the unique visual style of crypto within their brand metaphors, illustrations and graphic elements.


A vivid example of this shift is Weezi, a CRM system for managing DAO, created by Berezka DAO, a well-known player in the crypto field. Pixies was responsible for its naming, branding, website and interface. The visual style of Weezi reminds of that of Apple – lots of white, neat big headlines, monochromatic icons, rounded corners, and an absence of floridity or loud elements. The forethought of its UX is especially noticeable in the details – in smooth animations, full-screen scrolling and an easy-to-use interface. The only thing that reminds of the crypto design trends of the past is the abstract animation with a 3D-cube in its center and neon lightning circulating within it. The cube opens as a metaphor for new possibilities that users can discover with this DAO service.


Weezi by Pixies Studio

Weezi by Pixies Studio

Weezi by Pixies Studio

Weezi by Pixies Studio

Weezi by Pixies Studio

Weezi by Pixies Studio

Weezi by Pixies Studio

Or take Weway, a startup that helps influencers break into the NFT market. Its team advises and tutors bloggers and is developing a unique platform and a community for NFT creators. Weway has been in the industry for a while now, but, at some point, recently they felt the need to change their public image and distance themselves from their “mad” style of the past, while keeping the brand identifiable. To solve this, Pixies’ team has renewed the logo, created new icons, changed the architecture and the logic of Weway’s website and added more light and tranquil colors to it. Thus, the website has turned out to be more refined and trendy.


Weway by Pixies Studio


Weway by Pixies Studio

Weway by Pixies Studio

Weway by Pixies Studio

Weway by Pixies Studio

Weway by Pixies Studio

Weway by Pixies Studio

Weway by Pixies Studio

Weway by Pixies Studio


Design is a way of nonverbal communication, and, when a company understands that it should communicate new ideas, to change design is one of the methods to do so. With the evolution of the crypto market, the visuals for crypto projects couldn’t stay the same.

react to story with heart
react to story with light
react to story with boat
react to story with money

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