When their open source project received legal notice to cease and desist using their name, the head of marketing saw it as an opportunity. Not only to rename, but to rebrand and express the heart of who they are, what they stand for and how their truly decentralized layer one protocol will open up a whole new era of blockchain. With their public debut on the horizon, this small but fast-growing team had one shot to make a powerful first impression with both skeptical technical users exhausted by the industry’s puffery and broader less-technical audiences including investors and media. The UME team was all in.
Blockchain is a complicated technology. But after much digging and digesting, the UME team uncovered a clear and simple positioning that elevates what is most unique about Mina — it is the world’s lightest blockchain. Weighing in at a mere 22kb and infinitely smaller than any other existing chain, its size makes it possible for anyone with a smartphone to participate and verify the network in seconds. The lightest, most equitable protocol in history empowers a level playing field and a truly democratic space for building a better future. As a hook, we oriented the brand strategy and identity around the concept of light and lightness (the what). And that opened the door to deeper storytelling around both advanced mathematics and technical elegance (the how) and the brand's humanity and purpose (the why).
Mina embodies the organization’s humanity and approachability, speaks to the brand values of openness and inclusivity, and provides an organic, familiar warmth that balances the brand’s technical prowess and distinguishes it from more sci-fi and masculine competition. Meet Mina, the world’s lightest blockchain, powered by participants.
The visual balances the brand’s technical elegance with its welcoming humanity. The outlined wordmark itself is light and spacious, marrying straight, technical lines with curving, organic ones. The textured spectrum color palette speaks to the concept of light and to the full spectrum of humanity that is welcome at Mina. While a layered cryptography element elevates the advanced mathematics and recursive technology (zk-SNARKs) that enables the protocol to render vast swaths of information into the size of a couple tweets.
The primary job of the website was to hook, engage and persuade their most technically sophisticated audiences, node operators and developers, to join Mina. Secondarily, the site had to welcome and explain the technology to broader audiences, like investors and media. After a discovery process surveying its global community and interviewing users, investors and advisors, the UME team designed an intuitive and comprehensive web experience that elevates and reinforces Mina’s core positioning (the world’s lightest blockchain), while also diving deep into the benefits and mechanics of how the protocol works, and how users can get started.
I want to thank the whole UME team. Literally, we wouldn't have done this without you all — the moral support, the expertise, the facilitation skills, the vision, the strong perspective that got us through hard times. It was an honor to get to partner with you and I'm hoping we'll have more to collaborate on in the future.
If you're a visionary looking to build a robust foundation and grow with brand integrity — let's talk.