Hashed is a team of blockchain experts and technologists based in Seoul, with team members in Silicon Valley. They facilitate the growth of blockchain technology and its applications through asset allocation, mentorship, and building.
Upstatement was approached by Hashed to redesign their brand. After extensive exploration into visuals, language, and strategy for a new identity, the project shifted focus from creating a new brand to a website. Despite the moving target and shifting demands, Upstatment pivoted and successfully conveyed a small scope yet tastefully refreshed brand via a beautiful new website.
While working on the brand, our team devised several different briefs to work against, each exploring a characteristic of Hashed's mission or mythos. Of the directions I explored, the most notable were Hashed as a bridge between Asian — Western, Established — Emerging, and Physical — Digital markets. I gravitated around using the "H" as a vehicle for conveying duality, spanning distances, and connecting locations.
Aesthetics fluctuated between playful and digi-punk. Hashed's nature as a company is both fun-loving and staggeringly intelligent. They deal with exceedingly complex subject matter, and not only make sense of it, but consistently break ground in their field. Throughout Asia and specifically in South Korea, Hashed is the leader of the blockchain revolution.
Our primary question became, which side do we lean into? Playful, fun-loving, friendly, and accessible, or formidable, analytical, futuristic, and intelligent? In addition to the company's personality, we also had to consider Hashed's latest goal of breaking into Western markets, where blockchain technology is viewed with a sizable dose of skepticism. Accessibility would be important, but too much levity could fail to represent the respect they command in Asian markets.
I attempted to ride the line, creating a format that could come across as clean, energetic, buttoned up, and even slightly authoritative. Contrasting the simple, graphical, and heavy form of the H against the vibrant movement from the colorful 3D forms was a promising point of entry for an aesthetic that could selectively dial from austere to engaging. It also created a duality that spoke to the way in which blockchain technologies function as a layer on top of more tangible systems.
While we ended up focusing on creating a new website over a new brand, our team's brand explorations led us to uncover and answer key questions, and strategically represent Hashed through a website that will serve them in the years to come.