Cardano is a protocol that shares the benefits of blockchain technology with the world. While not centrally owned, it is being developed by a foundation, who asked us to help communicate the huge ambition and vision of this undertaking. We collaborated with the teams building Cardano to gain an understanding of this breakthrough technology — and the diverse community behind it. Our task was to open the conversation up to include a bigger group, and to welcome non-technical voices to the dialogue.
We conducted extensive interviews with the Cardano community to gain a deep understanding of the context and imperatives for this work. We knew we needed the output to reflect the Cardano that the community know and love, while signalling an exciting vision for its future.
Those conversations led us back to Gerolamo Cardano, the historical figure after whom the brand was named. He was a controversial provocateur in his day — a polymath, whose interests and proficiencies ranged from being a mathematician, physician, biologist, physicist, chemist, astrologer, astronomer, philosopher, writer, and gambler. As a mathematician, Cardano was the first to describe hypocycloids: in geometry, a special plane curve generated by the trace of a fixed point on a small circle that rolls within a larger circle. These formed the basis of the existing Cardano icon, so we developed a range of images derived from them, using these as illustrative and decorative treatments.
We developed other assets, including a custom version of the Chivo typeface to include a new character for Ada, Cardano’s cryptocurrency. We also worked with the team to develop a brand position that could meet the challenge of bringing Cardano to the world.
At the same time we started to realise our work on the Cardano Foundation — the non-profit body that oversees the creation of Cardano. We needed to express the connection to Cardano and also its independence and deep responsibility to the community. The outputs again used the starting points in the hypocycloid forms, with a refined and targeted palette, and some other complementary elements, including a system to localise the CF brand to all the languages of the world where needed.