What is the NKN brand?
There are a few emotive words that describe the NKN brand:
- Network / Organic
- Natural development / Evolution
The design principles – a conversation
NKN co-founder Bruce sat down with designer Imran, to chat about the design principles behind NKN’s new style guide,
[Bruce]: Hi Imran, please tell us a little bit about yourself
[Imran]: Hello Bruce, firstly I’d like to thank you for the opportunity to have been given the responsibility to design NKNs new brand vision. My name is Imran Chaudhry. I’m originally from the United Kingdom where I studied Theater design and Computer Animation. I moved over to the United States and worked in a multidisciplinary capacity at various creative companies from multimedia design 3D art for games and graphic design. I’ve always liked to learn about new trends in science, technology and art and in 2016 I discovered and bought my first few satoshis of bitcoin. I was hooked to the potential and visionary possibilities of cryptocurrency as a force for change in all kinds of industries. It was in 2018 that I came across a dedicated and revolutionary crypto project NKN that were reimagining the network layer of the internet upon the blockchain and decided early on that i’d like to help contribute my creativity since User experience and even basic understanding of cryptocurrency was severely lacking from a visual intuitive perspective in the early days. I’ve been thankful to the fantastic team at NKN for allowing me to contribute to the company throughout its years and I’m excited to see how NKN grows in the years to come.
[Bruce]: We are so lucky to have you, with all your talents and passion! I’m very impressed by the work you have done for the style guide. It was quite a complex project. How did you approach this design work?
[Imran]: I approached this work by looking at what a network actually is from a scientific, artistic and cultural perspective to bring meaning and life to what it actually represents. I kept the parameters very wide and allowed myself to absorb information from wherever it took me regarding what networks meant. Ultimately by tracing the origins of what network or networks, I discovered that we are ourselves exactly that internally and externally. In the natural world, it’s all around us. It’s this obvious yet hidden aspect of networks that fascinated me and I wanted to bring that idea to NKN’s branding. The network layer NKN is building almost takes upon a life of its own growing, healing and morphing almost like a biological network but in digital form. It’s certainly fascinating to see how this collective expression of global nodes evolves over time.
[Bruce]: As an early community member of NKN, I’m glad your understanding of the network is both broad and deep. During the design work, where did you get inspiration from?
[Imran]: The inspiration came from nature itself. If you stop and observe, the natural world around us already contains the answers to many of the discoveries that are taking place in the digital blockchain space as well as key functions in society and life. I wanted to enable the branding to seamlessly perk the interest of users to a wider philosophy behind the technology.
[Imran]: Hi Bruce, how do you think the new style guide fits your technology and product visions?
[Bruce]: I believe this new style guide and the design language in general, gives a new organic life to NKN. I used to work for Nokia in Finland, and their slogan “Connecting People” can be very fitting for what NKN does. And at NKN, we add privacy, safety, and intimacy to the connections people share. We are a technology company, but we don’t have to be digital and cold. The new designs make the NKN brand warmer, fuzzier, and even huggable, if I may say so.
[Bruce]: Now we have completed the new designs, do you think it will differentiate NKN from other companies in this industry?
[Imran]: Every company respectfully has many talented ideas and develops to become instrumental in their key field. What I think regarding NKN’s new vision and its branding is complimentary to all other ideas since just like an ecosystem that has a myriad of colors, shapes, form and function ultimately it all relies on a fundamental network layer that makes that ecology work seamlessly and effortlessly. I believe what sets NKN branding apart from others is that it isn’t at odds with anything but rather it strengthens every idea by the branding DNA being based in nature which surrounds everyone and everything. The branding of nature based intuitiveness is instantly recognizable and thus the technology can speak from an language everyone understand
[Imran]: The next steps will be working towards developing a new website aligned to the new design philosophy and more.
[Bruce]: And we look forward to building more human-centric products and services that embody the key NKN emotives.
The background gradient symbolizes the depths of the ocean. With the lighter gradient representing the surface of the ocean and the darker gradient representing the deep depths of the ocean.
Another key component to visually represent the depths of data in a sea of information is a depth perspective grid. This grid gives the viewer an immediate 3 Dimensional depth perception of the ocean of data. The depth field Is further highlighted by placing 3D spheres into the grid at a perspective.
Previous fonts used had sharp corners that did not accurately reflect the vision. The new font uses softer round corners to reflect the natural organic philosophy of NKN’s new brand direction. This new font will be used on all material going forward.
Print layouts / themes
Literature and stationary
How to get NKN Style guide
To download the style guide:
To watch the introduction video by the designer Imran Chaudhry: