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Hack the design

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A brief of how the ETHBuenosAires design process was and why I took (or didn’t take) some decisions.

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Proof of presence

Inspiration and idea

The process began with radical abstraction. I wanted to think of the logo in a conceptual way, beyond how it would exactly look like or what colors I would use.

It’s foreseeable that if you go to an Ethereum event, you’ll see all the decoration and merchandising using the ETH logo, but I wanted a more unique and personal design for ETHBuenosAires. That’s why I chose the iconic ‘Buenos Aires Obelisk’, a historical monument located in the center of the city, and decided to integrate it with the ETH logo.

After some research I came to the conclusion that in a world populated by crypto collectibles, a badge would be a good option. But why? Well, this event was taking place at an exact time and location and not everyone would make it. Just as Boy Scouts or marines receive badges as rewards for their merits and achievements, if you took a 12-hour flight, hadn’t slept and spent a whole weekend writing words on your computer, it would be nice to receive a badge to remember it.

Hands on

With that idea in mind I got to work. Revealing the first sketches feels like showing personal nudes. I’d love to show fancy drawings with the clear structure of the current logo, but I find this to be more real.

I wanted to use a simple shape so it could be easily recognized. Creating a logo implies making 10 sketches, deleting 9 and with the one that is left, start the process over and over again, until you decide to give up. Because in your mind it will never be perfect and you could improve it forever.

Palette

From black and white, to purple, to blue, to retro colors, the palette was a big discussion. After trying a lot of options we selected the hot purple, it was strong and also in sync with the past ETHGlobal events.

In addition, a simplified version was designed to be used in other applications, especially the smaller ones.

Typography

Bringing the essence of the typography used for code, but without being so obvious, the ‘Industry’ font was the one that I considered the best. It is geometric, not very rounded, looks strong and it’s easy to read from a distance. I edited the kerning a little bit to make it look monospaced.

The different family weights, from light to black, were very useful to generate contrast along the graphic pieces.

A problem of scalability

Designing an identity

The second half of the challenge was to create a graphic design system which could be implemented by others without my assistance. I wanted it to look playful and fun, but at the same time, heavy and with presence. It also had to be easy to implement but without being boring or too simple.

I designed a package of colors, typography, and shapes. Rendering sets of backgrounds and fonts samples allowed anyone to create digital and print content regardless of their design skills.

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