Today, I am excited to launch the first new artwork for the website of ethereum.org. Every few months, the website will be updated with new artwork that reflects a new aspect of Ethereum's identity. The concept of the work focuses on one of Ethereum’s major strengths: the community.
Our artwork: ‘We of alien looks or words must stick together’ is a collaborative work that captures the idea of common identity among participants in the Ethereum ecosystem.
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.
In this first version of Dialect, I have gathered the spelling of ‘Ethereum’ in 12 languages, which are English, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Korean, Greek, Serbian, Arabic, Thai, Russian, Hindi and Hebrew.
The New Octahedron
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.
The artwork is visualised in this respective order.
Mattia Cuttini - ‘I’ve used the “segments” of my 16 segments series to assemble a colourful version of the Ethereum logotype. In a sort of way, I think it is a meeting between classic and futuristic things’.
Oficinas TK - ‘I really like to work with halftones, and that’s what I went for on this one; there’s really no concept, but rather a graphic glitchy exploration of the identity’.
XCOPY - ‘I feel like Ethereum is brought to life by a community of creatives. I wanted to place the logo into an environment where it was surrounded and supported by a vortex of colour’.
Lili Feyerabend - ‘My work consists of a two-series animation titled “Bugs, cats and a unicorn”. While social coding and bug-fixing are the major parts of our culture, the unicorn is a sign of hope that what we’re working on will change the world for the better. The image of a cat symbolises the fun and playfulness of today’s Internet’. The collages are made from the combination of my own photography work and those that I found on the Internet. Note that the first and second parts are displayed separately (the latter appears after Ilan’s work).
Ilan Katin - ‘Drawing for me is a form of meditation. This particular approach to drawing, along with the processes I use to create an animation from it, is priceless to me. By having my lines flow through the logo in order to give it form, I am expressing how Ethereum facilitates the flow of value created by people’.
I would like to note that this work is a continuum of effort and was only possible with the support of the Ethereum Foundation's website team. Josh Stark reached out to me and introduced me to Alan Woo, who has laid out the structure of the new website and integrated our artwork. The talented Ilan Katin assembled the series of artworks; he is not only an NFT artist but also a DJ at Bergain on a good day.
Dialect will always be a work in progress as our community grows, and it can only be improved with your help. My twitter's DM is always open – feel free to ping if you wish to add your language to the list.
A bit about me
I joined Ethereum in early 2018 after years of working in design, the humanitarian law field (legal aid, online privacy & cybersec law). The idea of a decentralised Internet fascinates me and led me to start experimenting with the ever-widening possibilities for this concept. I became more involved with the community by helping to organise hackathon events, DevCon UX track and by working for several start-ups as a product designer.
I am particularly interested in a cooperative business models, progressive digital privacy rights, cats and karaoke.