What does the future of digital look like?
It’s not all moody black backgrounds and gradients.
We were approached by Metaphor to re-imagine the future of web 3.0.Based out in Miami, Metaphor is recently funded and looking to reinvent the concept of a network. They do so by making it crazy easy to discover, join and participate in a DAO.
What are DAOs?
A decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) is a grass-roots group organized around a collective mission that coordinates through a shared set of rules enforced on a blockchain.
It’s a collective pulling towards a common goal that’s fully global, without hierarchy or structures and open to anyone. But most of all, it’s completely transparent. A DAO shows all financial actions or funding, all viewable by anyone at any time. So with a DAO, your balance sheet is on the public blockchain, making it a completely transparent way to operate.
This idea flips the traditional company structure on its head. Think open-source, but for companies.
Other protocols and tools operating in this space are targeted at engineers or people very familiar with web 3. Metaphor thinks differently. It democratises the technology of web 3 into an accessible experience that is similar to any other app today.
Metaphor wants to let the rest of the world know that Web 3 is ready for them, and it’s not such a scary place. It’s new, it’s here and it’s led by you – the community.Whilst familiarity with crypto is becoming mainstream, going beyond purchasing some cryptocurrency there is a sharp, scary and expensive learning curve to participate. So strategically, Metaphor was looking to present the value of DAO’s rather than presenting the underlying technology.
Our brief was to make sure it visually stood apart from anything in this space right now. Metaphor needed an identity that would lift them above the noise and amplify their ‘we’re here to help’ mission.
We started the project by building out a foundational brand strategy, to solidify who they were, what they do and why. After interviewing key stakeholders and synthesising this insight with our own research, ‘Embrace New’ became the red thread for our finalised brand architecture. Metaphor exists to empower people within web 3 communities, so we created a brand personality that encaptures the excitement and optimism of Web3 and DAOs.Of where new transparency and collaboration might lead. Of what it means to own your data and to join with others in choosing how and on what you spend your time. To remove borders and to collaborate from anywhere in the world.
Using the brand strategy as a creative springboard, we designed a new brand identity by moving through our usual four project phases: discovery, exploration, concepting and delivery.
Throughout the design process, we were inspired to create a visual language that illustrated two separate entities coming together, reflecting the connection and community that working in a DAO brings, you’re never working alone.
Another key source of inspiration was the concept of creating ‘the future of your digital self’. We asked ourselves: What will the web look like in 10 or 20 years from now? How will you be represented online? When will your online persona take on a life of it’s own?
By collaging images from the public domain, we built a brand system that allowed Metaphor to easily create their own avatars or backgrounds themselves. This also doubled up as a neat way to plug into their platform for users, creating their profile.
We aimed for the identity to throw out all the design tropes you associate with crypto or blockchain brands and create something original; an intriguing and abstract world that shrugs off the way things have always been done. With new technologies opening the doors, it’s time to rethink how you think a company should be structured or operated, and start to dream a little bigger…