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How to Design a Cryptocurrency Logo

By Gary simon - Aug 24, 2017

While I'm going to show you the process behind designing a logo for a cryptocurrency business, the process of effective logo design remains the same regardless of the niche.

Whether it's a cryptocurrency business, a flower business, or a gaming business, the following approach is one that you can use while designing a logo for literally any business or purpose.

We're going to talk about what constitutes effective logo design, while showcasing a single project that I recently tackled for a cryptocurrency related business.

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What is the business?

I'm into cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and IOTA. I came across an individual who's launching a decentralized charity called "ForT" based on IOTA, which is a cryptocurrency.

ForT as a name, is a play on "For Them", and "FORT" is being used to signify a shelter for the disadvantaged. 

A description of ForT as a charity/service is, "ForT is a decentralised charity that employs the IOTA tangle to provide economic aid to people in need. ForT provides a new way of looking at charities, we cut loose the middleman — the charity itself. Thus creating a decentralised payment method in which only the people for whom the money was intended can spend the money."

I was approached to design a logo for "ForT", and I took it as an opportunity to do what I love.

Brainstorming

Regardless of the business, it's necessary to brainstorm and identify key attributes that both identify the purpose of the business, and also what makes it unique.

For the ForT project, I identified several attributes:

  • Crypto
  • Digital
  • Currency / Money
  • Charity / Giving
  • Help / Aid
  • Fort / Hideout / Enclosure
  • Safety / Security

Given these attributes, we can begin to form concepts that relate to the wordmark (the type portion of the logo) and any symbolism.

So, where do we begin? I like starting with the name, or the wordmark.

Designing a Wordmark

Again, a wordmark is the type portion of a logo. In our case, it's ForT, FORT, or fort. If we want a unique treatment applied to the type outside of using a strict font without any modifications, it's best to ensure that whatever is done, is unique and relevant based on the business.

So let's take a look at ForT in a regular sans-serif font:

Looking at the individual letterforms can help us formulate visual representations of the attributes that we formulated earlier.

The one that I came up with immediately was to connect the top of the "F" with the top of the "T", which would provide for an enclosure or a fort, over the entirety of the wordmark.

Let's see what that looks like:

A few things changed here. I decided to capitalize the O and the R to help create visual consistency. The lower case lettering throws an extra element of complexity that I didn't want.

I liked this concept because it's simple, relevant and unique; all of which are necessary attributes to an effective logo. But we can't just stop there, it's always worth further exploring a given concept to see if we can take it other places.

Next, I came up with this concept by expanding on the former:

This is an approach that further solidifies the concept of being in a fort or an enclosure by encasing the entire wordmark in a rectangle, with a single point of entry under the T. 

I took this concept a few steps further:

The concept on the left creates an entire enclosing, though I thought it might be hard to read so I created a variation on the right that separates the "F" at the top.

At this point, I showed the client this series of concepts. Their feedback suggested they wanted to see a separate symbol, like the Nike Swoosh.

Designing a Unique Mark

Combination logos consist of a wordmark and a separate symbol that can be used together and independently. For this cryptocurrency logo, they wanted to see a unique mark that they can use outside of the name.

Symbolism can come in many forms. Some are purely abstract, others are literal, and some are lettermarks. A lettermark, like a wordmark, uses a letter as the foundation of the symbolism. It's usually either just a single letter that represents the beginning letter of the business name, or multiple letters in the case of a business name that has multiple words.

In the case of ForT, we have "F". The task is to represent the "F" while also representing, in a unique and relevant manner, the purpose of this cryptocurrency business.

The process is the same as above in the case of the wordmark. Here, we have a simple "F":

It's all about identifying unique forms that can pertain to this business, while maintaining the readability of the "F". 

My idea was to recreate the "F" form by using a perfect square:

Now, we have something unique but still has an identifiable "F" form. Still, there's nothing that says anything about this company.

I decided to stick with the enclosure/fort concept by completing the square in a less thick weight:

Alright, that looks interesting, but what if we rotated it at a 45 degree angle?

I added a second variation to the right, which provided for an entrance into the "fort" by separating a portion of the "F" while still making it identifiable, albeit in an abstract manner.

The Final Logo

I presented the symbolism in the form below:

Here we have two variations as full combination logos. Notice that the wordmark here is much more simplistic than the wordmarks I presented earlier? That's because if you're going to use a combination logo, it's best to keep the wordmark simple as opposed to complex. I did slightly change the "F" here, but nothing else.

It's also helpful to present the client with an explainer graphic:

At the end of the day, they chose the above symbolism to represent ForT. 

This is the process that I use to design most of my logo concepts. Hopefully you learned a thing or two!

 

 


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