San Francisco-based agency Moniker has rebranded cryptocurrency platform Coinbase, aiming to reach a wider audience outside the “crypto crowd”.
Moniker was initially brought in to create a new logo, but it was soon apparent that there was “a larger need and opportunity for the visual identity system”, says Moniker creative director and founder Brent Couchman.
The rebrand was initiated at a time when Coinbase was experiencing massive growth, and according to Couchman, had become “the most trusted and easiest-to-use platform for the cryptoeconomy”, but its former identity didn’t match that position.
Coinbase briefed Moniker to create a new visual identity that would balance “the excitement and energy of this new financial world” while communicating trust and security. “To reach a wider audience, not just the typical crypto crowd, they needed a visual identity that built recognition for the brand but also allowed for a really wide range of expression to speak to new users,” says Couchman.
The designers looked to the idea of wayfinding and transit signage systems for inspiration, since the team’s early conversations had unearthed the idea of Coinbase being a ‘bridge’ between traditional finance and the cryptoeconomy. “This was really the core driver early on and gave us a shared language and set of filters to think about each piece of the identity,” says Couchman. Another key concept behind the new identity was the idea that crypto is no longer a futuristic entity, but something tangible and real that can be used right now. “This also fed into the wayfinding concept, that the system needed to be immediate and grounded — not something too abstract that could potentially get in the way for users who were new to the space,” he adds.
The new icon is instantly recognisable as a ‘C’ and a coin, again conveying simplicity and accessibility. “We didn’t want people to have to work to get it, just like using the product,” says Couchman. The blue colour palette of the previous identity was retained to aid identifiability and the brand’s equity; and Moniker introduced a secondary palette to give the branding more flexibility as it grows into new markets and introduces new sub brands.