How we defined a brand direction for Compound Grants.
Compound Grants is one of the first Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO) with a mission to "provide grants to projects, ideas, and events that benefit Compound and its ecosystem". The Grants team was looking to create a professional brand to use on their website and social media, designed to appeal to potential grantees and the greater Compound community. We had the opportunity to collaborate with both the Grants stakeholders and Compound design team to help develop a new brand identity.
We first defined the goal of the project: to create a professional brand for Compound Grants. But this goal was pretty open and vague, and we still had to understand what exactly that meant. Some of the open questions we had were:
- How should we differentiate the brand from other grant programs?
- What values are important for the brand to convey?
- Should the brand be independent of the current Compound brand, or be a "sub-brand"?
To answer these questions, we looked into how other companies use sub-brands on social media, spoke with a grant recipient about their experience using the current program, ran a workshop with the Compound Grants key stakeholders, and sent out a survey to capture the additional stakeholders' opinions.
Think Nike Air and Nike, or Google and Google Maps, as opposed to Best Buy and Geek Squad... a sub-brand not a sister brand. — Jayson Hobby, Head of Design at Compound
Our research showed us that the brand should feel professional and trustworthy, as grantees would be relying on Compound to fund their projects, and in many cases their incomes. The association between the Compound parent brand was seen as important to help build trust and familiarity with the Compound Grants sub-brand.
How We Did It
We explored various concepts around how the brand could be presented and shared via social media and the website. We wanted to showcase the momentous potential of the Grants program while honouring its well-established, trustworthy parent. We landed on a happy medium between the two, with a waveform and gradient to represent progression without straying too far from Compound's overarching brand.
In parallel, we worked with the Compound design team as they were developing a secondary brand logo for their product line. The gold-bronze gradient was chosen to help differentiate Grants as its own sub-brand and establish a professional, trustworthy feel. It also serves to overtly reflect the purpose of the program - gold being a classic symbol of wealth, which compound aims to share with the community through these cooperative grants. We are the first Compound sub-brand to use this new logo.
All the new brand elements are designed to work together to create a visual system. We created a brand kit for the Compound Grants team to capture and share how the brand could be scaled for future use.
You can see how we use the brand in more depth in this Figma file
Brand Design by: Paperclip Labs