Of Banks, Buildings & Bitcoins
Naming & Branding for TEN31 Bank
What if a banking industry client asks for an almost impossible task? Alter the task, chop it up, divide and conquer.
The WEG Bank AG approached us with a delicate task: They wanted to embrace the emerging crypto market, while their stable and lucrative housing business should be retained and expanded as well.
As so often, taking a step back from the original briefing led to the solution: Two brands with focus and purpose instead of one doing an impossible split. While the old WEG Bank received a notable facelift, we created an entirely new brand for the crypto audiences, unbound by its real-estate heritage.
Legal and technical barriers made naming this new brand difficult. As it’s often the case with creative work, the right idea came minutes before meeting the client. The notorious white paper introducing Bitcoin to the world was released on the 31st of October – TEN31.
The crypto-sphere is a pretty crazy place. Defying rules and conventions, its culture and aesthetic are based more in memes than finance or even fin-tech. TEN31, however, is not made of meme-lords and crypto-anarchists. They are bankers that recognize the potential and the importance of decentralized money.
The branding had to strike a balance. Radiating expertise, seriousness and savviness while being modern, aware of the crypto culture and approachable – something that looks good on a bank statement and on a crypto wallet.
Starting with the logo, we developed a clear and unobstructed text mark. All strokes have the same width, every shape is strictly geometric, placed on an un-shakeable baseline. The sharp, cut-off "1" adds a feeling of movement and the willingness to leave the safe ground for innovation and change.
We choose toned-down and rather muted shades of grey as primary colors. Focus and direction are added by an expressive and diverse set of "digital pastels". But we wanted to create something unique for TEN31. Framed in white, we created a subtly moving gradient not only as a background but also as a moving color scheme for headlines. We’re fairly sure that Stripe stole this concept from us ;)
It’s a bit of a dream come true. Credit cards are such iconic items, we dare to say every designer has at one point fantasized about doing one. So here we were, tasked with creating not one but two designs for the different tiers of TEN31 credit cards.