Branding Discussion

just_mike

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Darkcoin has a logo - https://darkcointalk.org/threads/blue-vs-b-w-logo.268/

A logo is needed for DarkSend and Dark Gravity Wave - https://darkcointalk.org/threads/need-logo-for-darksend-and-darkgravitywave.154/

It was brought up that the Icon used is not consistent - https://darkcointalk.org/threads/darkcoin-icon.557/

Here are some brand / style guide examples as used by other coins

Scroll down and get the press kit - http://www.qrk.cc/quarkbrand/
http://www.nxt.org/mediakit/
http://www.peercointalk.org/index.php?topic=1616.0

EDIT 6/2 - Added License info for logo ****************************************
Based on Feedback in this thread below is the current state.

NAMES
Darkcoin (with lower case "c")
Darksend (with lower case "s")

TAGLINE
"Anonymous Digital Currency"

DESCRIPTION
Darkcoin (Ticker symbol: DRK) is a digital currency based on the Bitcoin software. Created by software developer and financial advisor Evan Duffield, Darkcoin's primary objective is to offer its users a secure, privacy-centric alternative to Bitcoin. Darkcoin is the leading anonymous digital currency; it improves upon the well-established Bitcoin source code and features a custom, decentralized implementation of the CoinJoin transaction protocol that removes the need for Darkcoin users to entrust their privacy to a third party.

Every Bitcoin account and associated transaction is stored on a ledger, or "blockchain". This information is publicly available, and is retained in perpetuity. In contrast, Darkcoin's underlying technology masks the link between the sender and receiver on the blockchain, affording its users a high degree of privacy.

GRAPHICS

Logo

Vector - https://onedrive.live.com/?cid=59ff...4827&ithint=file,.ai&authkey=!AKgX1FIe-vxfRxo
License - Share/Share Alike - https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

Logo Font
A custom variant of Eurostile Bold Extended ("A" and "K" are different) and Eurostile Extended.
Downloads:
http://www.fontpalace.com/font-details/Eurostile MN Extended Bold/
http://www.fontpalace.com/font-details/Eurostile MN Extended/

Logo Colors
"Strong blue"
RGB: 51, 152, 204
CMYK: 75, 25, 0, 20
Hex: #3398cc

"Very dark gray"
RGB: 51, 51, 51
CMYK: 0, 0, 0, 80
Hex: #333333

Coin


Icon/Favicon


SOCIAL MEDIA
Twitter

@DarkcoinCrypto #Darkcoin #Darksend (Do we need X11, DGW?)

Facebook
facebook.com/Darkcoin.Official

Reddit
/r/DrkCoin
 
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fernando

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Before getting into branding I think there is one question that should be answered: what is Darkcoin approach to the market?
There have been a lot of discussions in bitcointalk about money laundering and things like that. If we want to position it as a coin you can use to hide from goverments the branding must be in a certain way. If we want to talk about privacy, for everyone, for "legitimate" reasons; then the branding is different. I think we gravitate towards the second option (which is also much bigger). If I'm right I think we should stop engaging in certain discussions and stop complaining about the new logo/colors not being enough dark and too plain.
 

LimLims

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Evan has made it clear on multiple occasions that he wants no association with illegal activity, so mainstream branding would be the direction to go.

The NXT style guide is awesome, it's exactly what is needed for DRK: http://www.nxt.org/files/nxt/uploads/styleguide.pdf

Professional branding needs professional designers, so it might be worth thinking about how to pay for this kind of work.
 

Propulsion

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Evan has made it clear on multiple occasions that he wants no association with illegal activity, so mainstream branding would be the direction to go.

The NXT style guide is awesome, it's exactly what is needed for DRK: http://www.nxt.org/files/nxt/uploads/styleguide.pdf

Professional branding needs professional designers, so it might be worth thinking about how to pay for this kind of work.
I can only imagine the amount of money that went into making that guide alone!
That is really beautiful. Darkcoin absolutley needs a consolidated style guide for all related websites and media.

As far as paying, it would have to come from the foundation address I would imagine.

Before getting into branding I think there is one question that should be answered: what is Darkcoin approach to the market?
There have been a lot of discussions in bitcointalk about money laundering and things like that. If we want to position it as a coin you can use to hide from goverments the branding must be in a certain way. If we want to talk about privacy, for everyone, for "legitimate" reasons; then the branding is different. I think we gravitate towards the second option (which is also much bigger). If I'm right I think we should stop engaging in certain discussions and stop complaining about the new logo/colors not being enough dark and too plain.
At the moment there is only one VPS Provider that supports Darkcoin. This is probably the type of marketing that needs to be supported.
 

Minotaur

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In my opinion mainstream branding is most definitely the only way to go, in terms of formal marketing efforts. Other applications wont need specific marketing, they will get it on their own. We are a currency which means, just an exchange tool for business, people will use it as they see fit. All we need to worry about is positioning DRK as a reliable, legitimate means of exchange, that will give companies and people the privacy they need to conduct business in the real world. Bitcoin cant really be adopted for day to day business because of the transparent blockchain, it has issues like financial competitive information being readily available, consumer exposed in their spending habits, etc. That is where we need to focus.
 

raze

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Evan has made it clear on multiple occasions that he wants no association with illegal activity, so mainstream branding would be the direction to go.

The NXT style guide is awesome, it's exactly what is needed for DRK: http://www.nxt.org/files/nxt/uploads/styleguide.pdf

Professional branding needs professional designers, so it might be worth thinking about how to pay for this kind of work.
Agreed. Maybe it would be worth contacting the same company to see if they'd be willing to do something similar for us and also get a price estimate.
Anyone speak German?
http://www.ideenfrische.de/
 

just_mike

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In my opinion mainstream branding is most definitely the only way to go, in terms of formal marketing efforts. Other applications wont need specific marketing, they will get it on their own. We are a currency which means, just an exchange tool for business, people will use it as they see fit. All we need to worry about is positioning DRK as a reliable, legitimate means of exchange, that will give companies and people the privacy they need to conduct business in the real world. .....
Darkcoin is already decribed as a legitimate currency. Look at the website. "Darkcoin is secure, decentralized and anonymous." All verbiage on the site has multiple inputs by Evan and others. No need to change the tone. It just needs to be put in an easily digestible form for others to use quickly.

Logos (color, greyscale, negative) - Darkcoin logo already exists. DarkSend and DGW need to be worked on.
The "Coin" - It already exists but I think the color should match the logo.
The favicon - Several sites use different Darkcoin favicons - Should we use the coin or the "D" from logo?
 

Minotaur

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I like the favicon being used at coinmarkecap.com at the moment, the light blue one.
 

raze

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I like the favicon being used at coinmarkecap.com at the moment, the light blue one.
That would be mine. I do have .ico versions that can be used for webpages, the wallet, etc. if necessary.
Personally, I think the "D" works better for smaller scales. The coin just loses too much detail and gets muddled looking especially at 16px.
 

TanteStefana

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Agreed. Maybe it would be worth contacting the same company to see if they'd be willing to do something similar for us and also get a price estimate.
Anyone speak German?
http://www.ideenfrische.de/
They undoubtedly speak English, seriously. Everyone does except maybe some of my aunts and uncles who are all disappearing (all over 77 years of age ;) )
I'm just not a good business person, or I'd volunteer. I get really nervous when it's something important like this. I would probably screw up :oops: Wish I could see the style sheet. It's not loading for me :( Did they take it down?

I also agree, we need to go mainstream. Way more money in mainstream than any nefarious business :cool:

I also agree that the D looks great small scale. Is there an official version we can start sending everyone, like coinwarz.com, as they have us now, and cryptsy, mintpal, etc...? They all have the old coin and tiny... coinmarketcap, looks awful.
 

raze

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Wish I could see the style sheet. It's not loading for me :( Did they take it down?
Still there. 50 pages and ridiculously detailed, down to what percentage of each color to use. Website, forum, client, social media, video, stationary, etc. Just a few samples:


 

TanteStefana

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I was finally able to download it. Very thorough. I'm wondering who would use this guide besides the official site? Would it be voluntary for a site such as this one?
 

just_mike

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I would like to iron out some branding/style issues so that any further work can use this information. Just set down some guidelines for us and others to use.

Why do I think this is a priority?

1) Some Darkcoin properties are using old graphics

2) Merchants want signage and are sking for help on Bitcointalk. Others are doing the work and it is not consistent:

3) Darkcoin is in the news more and the branding is inconsistent.
http://www.wired.com/2014/05/bitcoin-anonymous-projects/ (The wrong color is used for the word "Darkcoin")
http://cointelegraph.com/news/111441/darkcoin_rising (Old coin design)
Coindesk - If they are going to talk about X11, they should at least use the logo we choose.​

Below is what I found as the current state. We just need to solidify for consistency.

NAME - Darkcoin (with lower case "c")
TAGLINE - The First Anonymous Digital Currency

DESCRIPTION (Copied from Wiki) -Darkcoin (DRK) is a digital cryptographic currency created by Evan Duffield. It is based on the Bitcoin software code, with the intention to be a safer and more private alternative to Bitcoin. It is the first anonymous cryptocurrency based on a decentralized anonymity solution.

Unlike the transparent nature of Bitcoin, where every account and transaction are public for everyone to see, Darkcoin features an obfuscated model of transactions (DarkSend) where its users can experience a larger degree of privacy.

GRAPHICS
Logo – https://darkcointalk.org/threads/blue-vs-b-w-logo.268/
We need high quality sources.
A grayscale is needed for B&W for newspaers, etc. This one is darkcoin.io - http://darkcoin.io/img/logo.png
What is the font used?
What are the CMK, HEX, etc for logo?​
Coin – This is current coin - https://darkcointalk.org/attachments/darkcoin-logo-jpg.83/
This coin was proposed to color match current logo - http://i.imgur.com/dsrkb6R.jpg
What are the CMK, HEX, etc for coin?​
Icon Favicon – Current - http://darkcoin.io/favicon.ico
Some (including myself) like this one better - http://coinmarketcap.com/img/DarkCoin.png
What are the CMK, HEX, etc for icon?​

SOCIAL LINKS
Twitter @DarkcoinCrypto #Darkcoin #Darksend (Do we need X11, DGW?)
Facebook facebook.com/Darkcoin (needs update)
Reddit /r/DrkCoin​
 

raze

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We need high quality sources.
I have the logo vector here: http://1drv.ms/1mZQeb1
What is the font used?
It uses a custom variant of Eurostile Bold Extended ("A" and "K" are different) and Eurostile Extended.
Downloads:
http://www.fontpalace.com/font-details/Eurostile+MN+Extended+Bold/
http://www.fontpalace.com/font-details/Eurostile+MN+Extended/
What are the CMK, HEX, etc for logo?
Color description: "Strong blue"
RGB: 51, 152, 204
CMYK: 75, 25, 0, 20
Hex: #3398cc

Color description: "Very dark gray"
RGB: 51, 51, 51
CMYK: 0, 0, 0, 80
Hex: #333333
Icon Favicon – Current - http://darkcoin.io/favicon.ico
Some (including myself) like this one better - http://coinmarketcap.com/img/DarkCoin.png
"D" favicon here: http://1drv.ms/1gQex7u
What are the CMK, HEX, etc for icon?
Same blue as the logo.
Facebook facebook.com/Darkcoin (needs update)
There's also two other pages:
https://www.facebook.com/darkcoinpage
https://www.facebook.com/darkcoincommunity
It might be a good idea to try to merge them together to avoid confusion.
I don't know who runs the official page, but I have some experience managing a Facebook page so I can do that and keep it updated if need be.
 
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LimLims

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TAGLINE - The First Anonymous Digital Currency
May I suggest finding a new tagline? This one is untrue, and just seems unnecessary to have factually untrue statements in any of the marketing (and it destroys our credibility). There are so many positive things to say about Darkcoin that there's no need whatsoever to exaggerate or bend the truth.

How about, "Anonymous Digital Cash"
 

just_mike

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May I suggest finding a new tagline? This one is untrue, and just seems unnecessary to have factually untrue statements in any of the marketing (and it destroys our credibility). There are so many positive things to say about Darkcoin that there's no need whatsoever to exaggerate or bend the truth.

How about, "Anonymous Digital Cash"
I don't like that one either. I copied it from the website.
 

Enzwell

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I don't like that one either. I copied it from the website.
What happened to "SAFE SECURE ANONYMOUS" ?
Or just take off the "first" part. - "Anonymous Digital Currency"

A grayscale is needed for B&W for newspaers, etc. This one is darkcoin.io - http://darkcoin.io/img/logo.png
I don't think the light-grey in that version should be there.
There should be a few different versions for different backgrounds, white, black, color...
http://burningpixel.com/Transfer/DC/BGvars_01.gif

It uses a custom variant of Eurostile Bold Extended ("A" and "K" are different) and Eurostile Extended.
I don't think it's legal to distribute or use those. That font is copyrighted. Although, maybe that MN version is the user made rip-off version. I don't know what the legality is on that case.

Interesting. Their color is close to the weird Darkcoin color (and cryptsy, and twitter). And the color isn't quite consistent in the photo of the printed materail.

Color description: "Very dark gray"
RGB: 51, 51, 51
CMYK: 0, 0, 0, 80
Hex: #333333
I think that's not true black just because it came from "printing software" like Illustrator. CMYK can't print "true black" like you can get (closer to) on a monitor.
I would use a full 0,0,0 black.

Here's a icon file of the coin version, optimized for 16x16
http://burningpixel.com/Transfer/DC/DcNL24i2.ico
 

just_mike

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What happened to "SAFE SECURE ANONYMOUS" ?
Or just take off the "first" part. - "Anonymous Digital Currency"
I grabbed it from the website. I see the Bitcointalk thread has safe secure annonymous.
i like "Anonymous Digital Currency" - Anyone else?
I don't think the light-grey in that version should be there.
There should be a few different versions for different backgrounds, white, black, color...
http://burningpixel.com/Transfer/DC/BGvars_01.gif
I like with some grey-scale. Maybe not that one.

I don't think it's legal to distribute or use those. That font is copyrighted. Although, maybe that MN version is the user made rip-off version. I don't know what the legality is on that case.
If the font is purchased, is it OK to use?

Interesting. Their color is close to the weird Darkcoin color (and cryptsy, and twitter). And the color isn't quite consistent in the photo of the printed materail.
I forgot the question. It is hard to follow multi quotes on this forum
Here's a icon file of the coin version, optimized for 16x16
http://burningpixel.com/Transfer/DC/DcNL24i2.ico
The logo looks better but isn't round.
 

raze

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If the font is purchased, is it OK to use?
It gets a bit complicated, but basically there's a distinction between "font" and "typeface". The font is the actual software, the typeface is the design itself. Fonts can be copyrighted, typefaces can't, at least under US law. Technically, you need a license to use the font when creating a design, but once the design has been converted to a vector or raster image and the font file is no longer being used, it's no longer under copyright (such as in the logo).

As an example, say you wanted to use the typeface for headers for the website. If the headers are image files with the text as part of the image, no license is required. On the other hand, if the headers use a font embedded in the webpage to display the text, a license IS required.

Then, of course, there's the type of license(s) you'd need. That's where it get's a bit messy.
 

just_mike

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Based on feedback, below is the current state.

Things to do.
1. Decide on Tagline
2. Rewrite description
3. Define grey-scale logo
4. Iron out font license issues
5. Decide on icon/favicon. Coin or just the "D"

NAME

Darkcoin (with lower case "c")

TAGLINE
"Anonymous Digital Currency" or "Anonymous Digital Cash"

DESCRIPTION
(Copied from Wiki) -Darkcoin (DRK) is a digital cryptographic currency created by Evan Duffield. It is based on the Bitcoin software code, with the intention to be a safer and more private alternative to Bitcoin. It is the first anonymous cryptocurrency based on a decentralized anonymity solution.

Unlike the transparent nature of Bitcoin, where every account and transaction are public for everyone to see, Darkcoin features an obfuscated model of transactions (DarkSend) where its users can experience a larger degree of privacy.

GRAPHICS

Logo
JPG https://darkcointalk.org/threads/blue-vs-b-w-logo.268/
Vector - https://onedrive.live.com/?cid=59ff...4827&ithint=file,.ai&authkey=!AKgX1FIe-vxfRxo

Logo Font
A custom variant of Eurostile Bold Extended ("A" and "K" are different) and Eurostile Extended.
Downloads:

Logo Colors
"Strong blue"
RGB: 51, 152, 204
CMYK: 75, 25, 0, 20
Hex: #3398cc

"Very dark gray"
RGB: 51, 51, 51
CMYK: 0, 0, 0, 80
Hex: #333333

Coin
https://darkcointalk.org/attachments/darkcoin-logo-jpg.83/

Icon/Favicon
http://darkcoin.io/favicon.ico

SOCIAL MEDIA
Twitter
@DarkcoinCrypto #Darkcoin #Darksend (Do we need X11, DGW?)

Facebook
facebook.com/Darkcoin (needs update)

Reddit /r/DrkCoin
 

eltito

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Logo & Graphics - I'm of the opinion that the coin graphic should never, ever be used in any official branding. It can be an unofficial mascot or whatever, but everything official should always be the big D or the D + Darkcoin text where appropriate. Favicon, letterhead, websites - everything. The D is SO distinctive, especially at favicon size - that's the essence of good logo design. Don't dilute it by wrapping it in a coin that looks like every other coin from every other...um, coin. Bad idea.

Also consider the fact that the D is now most likely highly associated with DRK as a result of the attention and press we've been getting over the past few days, as well as the rising position of DRK on coinmarketcap, which I assume is the most highly trafficked site of its type. We have first-sight brand recognition with the D, for the love of god don't change it now.

edit: I mention the press and coinmarketcap because everything I've seen has been using the D. Think about how many tens of thousands of people had their first glimpse of DRK with that logo.

Target markets - Broader market appeal is the way to go, but I wouldn't be opposed to some off-book forays into more specific markets. Discuss elsewhere.

Stylesheet - figure out the basics first. Formal stylesheet is a little ways down the road.

Tagline - "Anonymous Digital Currency" works well, but I would recommend some brainstorming specifically on that subject before we commit to anything.

Which reminds me - can we find some way to coordinate besides the forum? Doesn't Google have some free thing we can use for that - whatever they turned Wave into? I'm talking more about scheduling (IRC sessions or whatever), not actual discussion.

DGW, X11 - yes, definitely go after these. Evan is the originator of these and any future moves or improvements should come from him/us via those those hashtags. All of that feeds right back into Darkcoin itself - MAKE people see where the innovation comes from.

DESCRIPTION (Copied from Wiki) -Darkcoin (DRK) is a digital cryptographic currency created by Evan Duffield. It is based on the Bitcoin software code, with the intention to be a safer and more private alternative to Bitcoin. It is the first anonymous cryptocurrency based on a decentralized anonymity solution.

Unlike the transparent nature of Bitcoin, where every account and transaction are public for everyone to see, Darkcoin features an obfuscated model of transactions (DarkSend) where its users can experience a larger degree of privacy.
I would like to reword some of this. It doesn't flow well. I'll submit proposed revisions tomorrow when I'm not on painkillers.

Testing... (3D of course)
Enzwell nicely done as always - that background needs a little more weight on the right end of it. Text looks like it wants to fall off. Maybe tone down the light source or something.
 
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LimLims

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Logo & Graphics - I'm of the opinion that the coin graphic should never, ever be used in any official branding. It can be an unofficial mascot or whatever, but everything official should always be the big D or the D + Darkcoin text where appropriate. Favicon, letterhead, websites - everything.
I agree with this, and I think such guidelines should be explicitly defined in the style guide. Consistent branding is super important, and it should be made far clearer that the coin design is not the logo. But then, that's just another opinion, and we're just a bunch of amateurs with opinions here. I've always argued that this work is better left to professionals, and if we have the means, we should hire some. If we can't recognise where our skillset is deficient and outsource appropriately, we shouldn't be making important decisions.
 

fernando

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Logo & Graphics: I agree with all that has been said about the D and not the coin being the logo.
Tagline: I woudl go with "Anonymous Digital Currency". For some reason digital cash doesn't resonate with me, I feel like if you are tricking me because cash can't be digital. Just my opinion anyway.
Description: I would make things simpler. Evan is amazing, but I don't think we should start describing something with who created it. First say what it is. Then when, why, who and where. I would also take out cryptographic, at least from the first phrase, the average user doesn't even know what cryptography is.
Social media. I would get as much related terms as possible in twitter, but we may find a few that are not available anymore. Some time ago it was possible to claim unused ones, but it is not any more (counted exceptions for IP infringement). Anyway, if @darkcoin is the one and it has the followers not having every variation is not that important. I would also do something in Google+. It doesn't have so much usage, but it ranks great in Google. Same for Linkedin. I have a paid subscription to buffer because of an old project, I can use it to schedule posts to a ton of places, so adding a few would not be more work.
 

raze

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I've always argued that this work is better left to professionals, and if we have the means, we should hire some. If we can't recognise where our skillset is deficient and outsource appropriately, we shouldn't be making important decisions.
+1
I think we should get a professional stylesheet and ASAP. I don't really see any reason to wait as it will just make it harder to change later.
 

eltito

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My point when I said I think it's a little ways down the road is that it doesn't appear that we have consensus on what direction we want to go in a few places. I have no problem with getting a style sheet ordered, but my question is, what exactly are we going to tell them to put on it? Do we know for sure what we want?

The placeholders on post #23 need to be filled in first, at minimum.
 
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