TL;DR: This marketing update is dedicated to the Brand refresh currently in motion. Below you’ll find visuals for our exploration on modernizing the NEARkats (with Simon Oxley) and visualizing the ecosystem. Please let us know your feedback in the comment section below.
The Brand Refresh working group consists of 12+ participants (from community to partners to members of the NEAR Collective.) We’ve had 6+ workshops and have been using research, data, and interviews along with Design Thinking Principals to better understand the overarching goals of the NEAR Collective and the needs of our users.
We’ve been approaching the brand refresh in phases:
Questions on the Brand Refresh? Be sure to first check out the past marketing updates for context and history.
NEAR Brand Exploration - Future Ideas To Evolve the NEARkats
As we build out custom pathways on our website for various types of users in NEAR’s ecosystem, we remain hyper-focused on meeting each of our users where they are at.
We’ve had extensive interviews across NEAR’s community and it has become clear that the spirit of the NEARkats was something the NEAR community liked but the design didn’t hit the mark in style and execution. The feedback from Founders was that they wanted the NEAR brand to be taken more seriously and have the visual identity match the high quality tech.
We think there’s a way to honor both.
For community, the pathway we are exploring speaks to fondness for the quirky memorable NEARkats but also will evolve the NEARkat style to be more modern. We think there’s also an opportunity to have fun with the brand through collectibles/NFTS/3D printable designs and even gamification. How to get there?
We hired Simon Oxley, the artist behind Github’s beloved Octokitty icon to create a modern updated NEARkat. You can learn more about how the octokitty became the iconic and beloved brand for Github here.
NEAR Brand - Future Ideas To Evolve Visualization Of Our Ecosystem
A big challenge for NEAR has been to SHOW just how far reaching our ecosystem is. The current website doesn’t show the scale of NEAR so we want to fix this. One way would be to use Dapp and user generated content to highlight visually real community stories…
NEAR wants to build the future together and everyone has a role to play. From Tweets to partner websites to NEAR grant recipients to NFT creators to developer sandbox projects and more - we are exploring how to use community data to create real-time dynamic visuals that showcase the depth of NEAR’s ecosystem. The focus is on the sum of the individual parts.
We are inspired by the work of artist Refik Anadol who uses large collections of data and machine learning algorithms to create mesmerizing and dynamic installations (data sculptures.)
Here are some other points of inspiration we’re using as we envision the new world of NEAR:
- 3D navigation - The Virtual Economy | L'Atelier
- Generative Effect - https://cineshader.com/
- Journey - Lights by HelloEnjoy
We’re still framing up what this could look like. We will have more to share in the coming week but we thought it was important to give you sneak peeks into the process and have you share your initial thoughts on the direction. Let us know what you think so far!
The NEAR Foundation Marketing Team