Pre-Proposal - Visual Identity

fernando

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UPDATE: VOTE IS NOW LIVE
Ogilvy: https://www.dashcentral.org/p/core-branding-om-201804
Tharp & Clark: www.dashcentral.org/p/core-branding-tc-201804

Background


This pre-proposal is intended to outline the process through which the Dash Network will select a path forward for rebranding. In the November budget cycle, the Dash Core Group submitted a proposal to initiate a rebranding effort through Ogilvy & Mather. The proposal was approved with anticipated delivery of the new brand and style guide by the end of December. The process was delayed for several reasons which we will outline below. Ultimately, we feel the additional time was beneficial toward achieving a superior outcome.

There will be two proposals with the end goal of selecting the best brand for Dash. Both proposals are purely for decision purposes.

What has the process been so far and why has it taken so long?

Work with Ogilvy began in the late summer with the intention of completing the rebranding and associated style guide by the end of December. While the first version of options was completed at that time, the Dash Core Group was only able to narrow our selection to two finalists for final refinement.

One logo was corporate and represented “an incumbent that is looking to do new things”. The second logo represented a “challenger that disrupts from the outside”. Both logos generated strong reactions within the Dash Core team that proved difficult to resolve. Strong stances on what was best for Dash were driven by genuine and well-intentioned opinions. As a result, the team decided to conduct quantitative testing with potential target audiences to scientifically determine which option to pursue.

A third party interview service conducted testing of three logos including the current one. Testing revealed a clear winner across 5 different countries and hundreds of interviews. The interviews included questions of preference, values and attributes participants associated with each brand. The winning logo was the “challenger that disrupts from the outside”. With the backing of this data, Ogilvy was directed to fully develop that logo including the full style guide.

Late in the process (just as we were about to submit a decision proposal to the network) we were approached by a highly credible branding firm (Tharp & Clark) that was willing to offer us a second logo alternative. This alternative was more of an evolution of the current logo with different goals in mind (leverage our existing branding and advance it as much as possible). We felt the offer was strong enough to put alongside the Ogilvy option. Additionally, we would only have to pay this particular firm if we ended up selecting their option. We thought it would be irresponsible to disregard this offer, though we have had to move through the process quickly to avoid significant additional delays.

What are the visual identities we will be voting on?

Ogilvy

We asked Ogilvy to design a visual identity that best fit our strategy of being a payments platform for the average person. The design attempts to position Dash as a disruptive challenger to the establishment, with a unique and distinctive look and a natural linkage with the brand’s activity and values. To achieve this, Ogilvy designed a flashier logo to make us stand out from a crowded space. The result includes a logo featuring interlocking “D”s, a gradient of colors, and a new all-capital “DASH” typeface.

The work is already funded, the materials are near completion, and most of the costs have been paid or will be due upon completion. Should the network decide not to use Ogilvy’s design, we would still be required to pay for the contracted work.

Tharp & Clark

Tharp & Clark approached us earlier this month with initial designs intended to advance the existing branding while leveraging the brand equity we currently possess. The logo attempts to leverage the iconic “D” while making the brand softer, more “human”, and approachable. The result includes a slightly softer “D” and lettering, a solid blue similar to the current color, and converts much of the text to lower-case.

If selected by the network, an additional proposal to pay the requested fee of 88,000 EUR will need to pass in the May budget. This would include the completion of the style-guide and transfer of full rights to the brand.

Can you just show me the logos already?


The logos alone are only one aspect of the visual identity. To form a complete picture of what the logos are conveying, and the contexts in which they will be used, please review the materials below. The full visual identity includes background imagery, watermarks, visual cues, various color palates, black and white images, and typefaces.

Are there any additional materials, besides the logos, that I should review?

Yes. Below are the links to more resources to aid you in your decision-making.

Ogilvy

Logos & New Branding: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1KVS0qrVna9jQz6bAqg1K7GlzcNx_bOFk/view?usp=sharing

Logos Research and Validation:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nCpQdZQfdVF7IriKVmUnWLLDAOlN916O/view?usp=sharing

Why a New Branding FAQs:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/19mdlsRqmhUYdBvxtRwgbwiBm51FLm43L/view?usp=sharing

Tharp & Clark

Proposal Deck: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pTq9WtRGXfvOvK5qcwlbx45a_yrmZqHL/view?usp=sharing

I hate one and love the other. How do I vote immediately?

Our recommendation is to review all the materials presented in this proposal. Let it marinate for a while. This is not an art contest (which logo you like more), but a strategic decision (which logo will help us achieve our goals). The shock of seeing a new logo is often jarring for those of us that have lived with the current brand for years. In our experience, it often takes several days for initial reactions to mature and stabilize, so it may take several reviews of the proposed branding before you are able to make a definitive decision.

We posted this as a pre-proposal to encourage a single discussion for both options. In the next few days we will submit two decision proposals, one for each option. Because these are decision proposals, each proposal will only seek the proposal cost.

The proposal that gets most positive net votes will be the one selected, regardless of whether it garners the necessary 10% to fund. Again, this is not a funding proposal, but a decision proposal between these options. If neither proposal achieves positive net votes, then we plan to keep the current logo. Ogilvy has offered to do a reinterpretation of the current logo as part of their work, so we could do that if this were the result.

Given the above structure, if you prefer the current brand, you should vote “no” on both proposals. If you prefer them both over the current logo, you may elect to vote “yes” on both proposals. A vote of “abstain” will have no effect on the final selection.

This method was chosen because it allows both positive and negative views to be expressed about each option while enabling the current logo to remain should the network wish.
 
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alex-ru

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Hm... and what is "double D (D+D)" stands for in Ogilvy's? ____ Dash?

If we want to stay 'Digital Cash", why not to use D+C in logo? (Digital Cash)
 
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fernando

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Hm... and what is "double D (D+D)" stands for in Ogilvy's? ____ Dash?

If we want to stay 'Digital Cash", why not to use D+C in logo? (Digital Cash)
The double D reflects the double tier in our network or two Dash blockchained together.

Your D+C comment reminds me something I didn't mention: whatever logo we decide upon, it will be alive. It will be ours and we will tweak it as we change. Even immediately if we decide so. So focus on the big picture because both reflect two different visions. Details can be ironed out if there is consensus.
 

Stealth923

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Too much pink like in the Ogilvy presentation, it looks a bit crazy and hard on the eyes, I prefer the blue and purple as per below) - looks great with grey images.

Will take more time to digest and marinate - they are both much better than what we currently have imo.

Love the below from Ogilvy


Love this from Tharp & Clark - very clean and professional


Edit more thoughts:
Ogilvy - cutting edge, disruptive and very unique (too much pink imo, hard on the eyes). Logo is growing on me.
Tharp and Clark - Safe ,modern, clean and makes it easy to identify the brand. Easy to roll out. Love how the "Dash" from the letter "D" can pop out and be a graphic device to give tonality. Could be too boring / safe.

Need more time to marinate
 
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TanteStefana

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Oh gosh, I hate to say it but I really dislike both of them very much and prefer what we have. Sorry.
 

Dandy

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My initial reaction is that I don't like either one, but then I realized that it just may be that I'm too used to the old logo.
I'll have to give it some time and try to look at it more objectively.
 
T

toknormal

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I think the one we have at the moment may be the best. The double-D is very indistinct and almost "blurry". It isn't clear what it is at first glance. Also, that "duplication" trick is kind of cheap now - it's the first thing people try in Photoshop when "doodling". (As an example of how indistinct it is, compare it with the Bitbay logo rotated at 45 deg.).

The problem I have with the second one is that it's just the current logo lowercased, but the first letter is still uppercase ! So it looks immediately less authoritative than the present logo. (A bit more modern, but with less authority. Don't know if the trade-off is worth it given we're dealing with money).

To me, neither of them represent a significantly successful improvement on the current logo to justify the upheaval.

 

TheSingleton

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At first, I didn't like any of the two but the Ogilvy one is growing on me whereas the Tharp logo I still don't like that curved D.

Especially since there is data backing up the Ogilvy logo ill vote for it. It's new and fresh jumps out at you and if that really is too much then it also works perfectly fine with flat colours.
 

Biltong

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XmPNBEQyaVNyFudWL3hhhcWfkdYK6T9nCF
Would be nice if someone duplicates Tharps real world examples with O&M's logo so we can compare apples with apples
 

daf

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Both logos are clear improvements upon our current cheap one.
I quite like the second logo from Tharp & Clark, especially for the lowercase and the minimalism.
The uppercase and the pink tone of the Ogilvy one are too much.

Need to let them marinate though.
 

stan.distortion

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Oct 30, 2014
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Neither say "digital cash" to me, both look good as company logos but none say "this is money". Has anything been drawn up from that aspect, distinguishing between the organisation and the monitory unit? A "D" with a couple of lines through it is the obvious route but too simple imho.
 

GrandMasterDash

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Okay, first of all, the stats speak for themselves and it's easy to see why; O&M is the clear winner. Side by side, it's obvious the current logo has passed it's sell-by-date. However, the new logo is very predictable; nearly every blockchain project out there has some kind of block-linking type of logo. Having said that, I can easily imagine this logo sitting side-by-side with visa and mastercard; yep, they are boring too, but with money, portraying long term stability is more important than flare and novelty In other words, the new logo is boring enough and corporate enough to go mainstream and be trusted by your average Joe.

The color scheme is good and will look particularly nice as a hologram on a card or security label. I'm sure the colors are both attractive to men and women.

It may well be that a better logo is possible, but given the choices presented here, O&M wins. My only suggestion would be to cut away at the "A" and "H", in the same way they did with "D". Here's a quick example: dash-logo-improved1.png
 

onetime

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Apr 15, 2014
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Fe3R7UM04.png
How about this?

DC instead of DD, rotated to be horizontal, and darkened the colors in the C so that the D stands out.

Also used the Tharp & Clark design in the D of Dash, and thickened the top and bottom of that D, making it look similar to the current Dash logo.

Eye-catching, easy to read, memorable, and you clearly see the word Dash but also see the word Cash.

Fe3R7UM04small.png

I might try making more changes to this. I'm still not sure which of all the logos I like.

-onetime
Now I definitely like this version posted by Damian Walker the most:

nuevoss02.jpg
 

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Dandy

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I still like the current logo better.
It just looks like it's moving... dashing rather :)

The Ogilvy one just seems uninteresting to me.
 

Stealth923

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After showing the wife, she likes the Ogilvy one, but not sure about the all capital letters in Dash, most brands have moved to lower case, less shouty.

Anyways here is a quick mockup with lower case. The logo sits better in the Dash when its lower case.

 
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Max Yoga

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Hi Guys,
My 2c here. Full disclosure - I did introduce Michael and Chris to Ryan/Fernando as branding experts to look at the logo development being done. Dash is a multi-billion market cap digital currency, so our brand identity and positioning needs to reflect this in an appropriate way. My comments below -

1. The Dash brand is not widely known outside the cryptocurrency sector, but within the sector it has a recognisable mark that has gained considerable equity. The 'D' mark with '-' is a very clever and original device - a hint to the 'blockchain' while also mirroring 'C' which indicates 'Cash'. In addition to this, it is minimal while being bold enough to stand out and be seen, for example, a tiny app logo as seen on a hardware wallet, or coin list on an exchange. It would be good if we could retain our heritage in the brand - if you look at other world-leading brands (Ford, Starbucks, McD's etc) you'll note that if the original brand really did stand on its feet and achieved recognition, it was then very carefully tweaked over many years to keep it in line with modern styling. I like that Michael and Chris were humble enough to go 'full circle' on the brand and arrive at the conclusion that the 'D' mark was essential to retain.

2. The O&M logo has several technical issues - for one, using gradient colours and especially hot pink and electric blue is very seldom used in logos - for good reason (note on my attached file the lack of any logos in that colour space). It is difficult to produce the colour gamut across print/web/mobile and in balance with background images, and the colors clash terribly. Pink and electric blue are non-serious 'funtimes consumer brand' colours (Ben and Jerry's, Tampax from the '90's, Barney the Dinosaur...), NOT colours to build a brand that will be storing your money. See the large colour gaps in the brand colour wheel attached, and the kinds of brands that are close to those colours - there's a reason for that gap and it's not because a 'zany' colour scheme has longevity.

3. In the O&M logo, the DASH font itself in the legend is not balanced, being too tall with mis-spaced kerning between characters. The 'Double D' mark and style and even the colour is not original at all, it is also non-distinct (read: blurry and barely recognisable at a distance) and does not match or balance with the font that the underlying DASH is written in, and furthermore has an unbalanced tilt.

4. The concept of the double-D looks like a pair of shackles (google 'Slave shackles' if you want to see what I mean) - I was particularly not happy about this, as my own project is launching Dash in Africa and I think that even though it is unintentional, once you see it, it's difficult not to make that association.

Will post up more comments/critique in a bit, hope this is helpful.
Brand-Colour-Wheel.jpg double-d11.png Double-dd.png doubled-logo1.gif Double-D-Media-Logo-1.png
 

Max Yoga

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Jan 23, 2017
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lets do a CMC check

#4: Ogilvy single color | #6: Tharp & Clark | #12 our current logo | #14: Ogilvy gradiant

Note how clearer and more distinct the single blue 'D' logo is. Even more so than the original. We also completely own the solid sky blue colour space in crypto - a VERY good colour to own.
 
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Chris Clark

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Hi! We're really happy to be part of the Dash project and read all the good feedback. Here's an example using the new D icon and wordmark in the same ad campaign concept for you to compare. Thanks!

Artboard 1 copy 2.jpgArtboard 1 copy 5.jpg
 
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Efietskop

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The double D reflects the double tier in our network or two Dash blockchained together.

Your D+C comment reminds me something I didn't mention: whatever logo we decide upon, it will be alive. It will be ours and we will tweak it as we change. Even immediately if we decide so. So focus on the big picture because both reflect two different visions. Details can be ironed out if there is consensus.
Good question raised on Discord, how does it look as a currency symbol?

And if we decide on the O&M symbol, we must have a very good press release ready because we're going to draw a lot of attention from the cryptospace. This press release should very clearly and concisely explain that Dash is much more than a currency but a DAO in which everyone can participate.

Edit: And the colour gradient is going to look awful when printed with amateur equipment, which will be used by most because we're a grass roots organisation
 
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Wilmar Toro

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Although I dislike both new logos. The Oglivy one looks so ugly for me, It doesn't respect the weight of previous identity.
Brands improve/redesign their logos all time, but they preserve their essence, their distinctive character, please look at this:




Ogilvy just made something ugly with that color scheme and forgeting all the identity, ¿Also..Why pink?... this reminds me about BitBay or Navcoin



I have to mention, actual Dash logo is awesome, if you look at it fast, you can know It´s Dash, It´s sound, consistent. But if you have to select just one new, Tarp & Clark made the most accurate evolution