Sasha Abramovich
Sep 23 · 7 min read

BEAM is a very young initiative and it’s funny that looking back for slightly more than a year ago can be considered as a retrospective. And yet, as a member of the Product team that defined the public image for BEAM, I plan to create a series of articles to share how the company visuals evolved. Let’s start from the designs journey through our website.

The prehistoric period

These funny early sketches were produced before my time were found in the archives. They’ve probably never seen the light. The word Mimblewimble has just discovered in the crypto world and early founders of BEAM were full of good hopes.

  • As Alex Romanov (our CTO) always said, “We are a technological company (as opposed to Harry Potter witchcraft)”. So, the departure from the fairytale into the tech realm had started.

The inception

In Q1 2018, the first website and branding (made by Porat Shalev, a 3rd party vendor) came to life: BEAM logo allegorized the concept of privacy via all colors of light, hiding in the white (We all love Pink Floyd, aren’t we?). The shiny neon colors looked inviting and the dark background projected a touch of privacy and confidentiality. This is how I’ve found our website before the work started:

The early days

In June 2018 when Alexandra Shelenkova (our art director) and I landed and looked around, we (in cooperation with Alex Romanov) had few initial thoughts in mind:

  • Polish and saturate the BEAM visual message (reflected on website, logo, and branding)
  • Elaborate more about BEAM implementation of Mimblewimble and also about which features we offer on top of it

Here is our first modification of the BEAM website:

What was done:

  • We’ve complied with the existing one-page-has-it-all design which was still common for the crypto companies those days
  • The menu was reduced to 4 items to focus every visitor on the more important parts of our message
  • Following the talk with Alex Romanov, we’ve revised the BEAM advantages look and phrasing and also added “How it works” section for more geeky visitors. Thanks to Guy Corem (our Keyzer Söze) we had plenty of technical people visiting and friendly debating on various aspects.
  • We’ve also added a roadmap. Looking back, it was very simple: all we wanted was to go live :)

Problems we could see almost right away:

  • The design looks hybrid as the new motives started to inorganically intertwine with the existing graphics, it didn’t look like a perfect match. Aren’t we all about disruptive innovation?
  • To some feedback we’ve received, the pictures of the glorious team didn’t fully reflect the professional spirit, neither they presented our human asset as a team in general.
  • Last but not least… simply said, we wanted our site to look more original.

The second revamp (look, mum, new logo)

What was done:

  • Per the advice of Guy, the plan grandeur was to step away from the one page design that could be associated with ICO era (we’ve never planned to open an ICO campaign or anything similar), to put the product in the spotlight and to move all the rest (including the team, advisors, and investors) to the inner pages.
  • With our CMO, Beni Issembert we’ve started to “hire” ambassadors and to get publicity. It was the right time to understand that BEAM needs recognizable visual fingerprint that will work for our site, apps, blogs, business cards, flyers, posters, etc
  • After very energetic discussions the BEAM logo (as we see it now) was born. We’ve just made it simpler (removed gradients/redundant elements and refined the lines). Alexandra selected Proxima Nova as our new logo font that became our font on all printed and digital banners, business cards, website, etc, As a result, the logo started to look much better when printed on textile and merchandise.
  • The color scheme picked the main colors from the logo and the dark color scheme (with reduced visual clutter) amplified the privacy and confidentiality feeling.
  • Our Testnet went live and it was the right time to introduce the look and feel of our products. We always wanted to create the products people enjoy to use.
  • With Alexander Zaidelson, our CEO — we had the first version of our ambitious roadmap.
  • Alexander also suggested featuring elliptic curves on our background (instead of the regular curves). Elliptic curves play an important part in the cryptographic algorithms Mimblewimble suggests but unfortunately, after many attempts through the coming months we couldn’t find the aesthetic way to display these curves as nicely as regular sinusoidal patterns :(
  • We’ve identified the personas that might want to visit our website (regular users, miners, developers, and ambassadors) and prepared a section that will provide an entry point for each one of them.
  • As Beni’s marketing activities took speed we needed a full stripe to show our online presence. We are always eager to listen and to talk on all the popular media platforms.
  • Last but not least, the pictures of team members were reworked, I’ve personally sent them URLs of Jewish jokes pages to read before they shoot another self-portrait :)

The Mainnet launch

On January 3rd, 2019 we’ve launched the Mainnet, and thanks to Beni Issembert (our CMO), the main section of the home page (we call it “marketing zone” internally) was re-edited to commemorate this event in the annals of history:

What was done:

The “make us bigger” stage

  • Half a year after the Mainnet launch we had a large part of the real roadmap accomplished: a nice-looking desktop wallet, new mobile wallets (for both iOS and Android), beam node, miner software (developed by several 3rd parties), blockchain explorer, multiple APIs for pools and exchanges… The BEAM dev&QA team was (and still is) delivering steadily.
  • The non-dev activities had expanded as well: 25 ambassadors in 15 countries, payment platform integrations, BEAM was listed on numerous exchanges and more. We even got our mascot (Beam girl) as a sticker set on Telegram!
  • Multiple innovations such as lightning (laser beam), Beam Anywhere PoC, integrations with exchanges and hardware wallets, community sites, and community-produced content took speed.

As you can see, we’ve developed from an “a blockchain and a wallet” company into a worldwide full-fledged heavy-lifting multi-domains organization. Phew! That sounds impressive and we wanted our website to reflect all of it. #shamelessselfpromotion as Guy usually says.

As BEAM evolved, so our website which was completely redesigned yet again (at least for the third time in 6 months since the issuance of Mainnet but who counts?). Our designer, Dasha Tarakanova, made a bold move towards a “multi-billion company website” (well, it was a funny and humorous codename that helped us to move into the right direction):

What was done:

  • To show the liveliness of BEAM at any given time, the main company and currency quantifiers were displayed in the topmost row.
  • We wanted to help our customers to discover BEAM products and the exchanges where they can buy the currency — this is how Exchange section came into existence.
  • The short place was dedicated to press and… that’s it! Less is more. Menu bar got fatter and the rest of the content was moved to the dedicated pages.
  • PS: wait, we’ve also released the website in Korean, Spanish and Swedish (a dedicated article will elaborate the process taken).

Later on, we’ve added pages like the news center, the page for miners and currently we are working on the wallet instructions page:

What’s next?

BEAM Foundation is the next good step to come. As promised, we are working on migrating most of our decision-making process from a centralized framework to a decentralized and semi-autonomous one. The dedicated website and crowdfunding platform are being developed.

This is the story so far…

Our website will continue to evolve as we move forward with creating the best-in-class confidential cryptocurrency, designed elegantly to make it a pleasure to use. I plan an article to show the evolution of our apps UX/UI and branding in general. Stay tuned and let us know how we can make our website even better. You know where to find us :)


Come discover Beam and join our community!

Download Beam Desktop Wallet here

Download Beam iOS Wallet on App Store

Download Beam Android Wallet on Google Play

Learn more about Beam on our website and blog

Telegram: t.me/BeamPrivacy

QQ Beam 中国官方社区: https://jq.qq.com/?_wv=1027&k=5Mbs8N4

Reddit: reddit.com/r/beamprivacy/

Twitter: twitter.com/beamprivacy

BEAM-MW

Discover BEAM, a Mimblewimble Implementation focused on privacy, scalability and optin auditability.

Thanks to Alexander Zaidelson

Sasha Abramovich

Written by

Unorthodox Head of Product at BEAM

BEAM-MW

BEAM-MW

Discover BEAM, a Mimblewimble Implementation focused on privacy, scalability and optin auditability.

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