empireventures
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Discovering Lighthouse: Branding the Eth2.0 Client

Introduction

The launch of Ethereum 2.0 — Phase 0 will play a pivotal role in signaling the turning point for scalability, usability, and maturation of the technology. Therefore, the brand identity for the Lighthouse Eth2 client needed to reflect this shift in focus and align with the overall objectives of the community moving forward.

The work done on the Lighthouse Brand is largely driven by our commitment in seeing the success of the Eth2 community as a whole. Applying first principles thinking not only to examining how we position, and communicate the complexities of Staking and Validation for the core community, but also how we can leverage this unique opportunity to attract, excite, and educate new entrants to the Ethereum eco-system.


Ethereum Lighthouse is an open-source Ethereum 2.0 client with a strong focus on; security, performance, and usability, written in Rust and maintained by Sigma Prime.

Visit the Lighthouse Github Repo: https://github.com/sigp/lighthouse
Learn more about Sigma Prime: https://sigmaprime.io
Join the Lighthouse Discord Server: https://discord.gg/cyAszAh

EMPIRE is a Product Strategy and Design firm championing product-market fit and user adoption for emerging technologies.

To show our appreciation for the hardwork the community has put forth thus far in facilitating collaboration and making this vision a reality over the past few years, we have created a small teaser as an homage to all the doubters and the supporters. Best viewed on HD with sound. 🧜‍♀️

Challenge

The Ethereum Lighthouse Client required a resilient and authentic brand which would be core to the utility of a product that was designed to be trusted upon by countless network participants in this lengthy transitional phase of Ethereum’s shift to Proof of Stake.

The Ethereum community currently carries a very memetic aesthetic, riddled by unicorns, rainbows, and pastel colors. We wanted the Brand to feel intrinsically true to the core community, however considering the long-term vision of Sigma Prime and our personal commitment to delivering the best User Experience in relation to Ethereum 2.0 it needed to function in a much more professional and functional capacity.

Strategy

From a strategic standpoint, the identity needed to be trustworthy, provide sense of security, and growth. The goal was to create something that would be very versatile, allow for it to be easily carried over into the product interface as an interactive asset in conjunction with the larger design system. The identity needed to live and breathe in harmony with all the added noise in the Lighthouse User Interface and not be a simple icon tacked on and forgotten in some corner.

Historical Context

The first line of code for Lighthouse was written on the 6th of July 2018, on a couch as a holiday project. Then, it was called “rust-beacon-chain”. It quickly gained popularity and interest from the Ethereum Foundation, seeing it re-brand to “Lighthouse” and receiving it’s first funding via an Ethereum Foundation grant. Now, it has 8 full-time software developers, 66 contributors to the code, security reviews from two independent security firms and countless other contributors to the project.

Naming

Beacon Chain

“It was originally thought that we needed a separate randomness beacon in addition to the “sharding manager contract” (before we deprecated that work and went full eth2). Justin Drake called this separate randomness chain, the “beacon chain”. When we deprecated hybrid pow/pos and the sharding manager contract in favor of rearchitecting the consensus as eth2, the beacon chain became much more than a randomness beacon — really the core of the system — , it wasn’t renamed. Justin has expressed that the “beacon chain” is a bit of a misnomer at this point but the term is here to stay.”

Danny Ryan, Ethereum Foundation

We renamed the repo to “Lighthouse,’ figuring that a seaside lighthouse would be a “rusty beacon” of sorts.

Paul Hauner, Sigma Prime

Symbolism

Guidance, and Protection —

Lighthouse has been used to provide illumination and guidance when little else seems to light the way or offer protection.

Lighthouses symbolize the way forward and help in navigating our way through rough waters whether those waters be financial, personal, business or spiritual in nature. Nothing else speaks of safety and security in the face of adversity and challenge quite the way a lighthouse does.

The beacon, shining out over the roughest and stormiest of seas, symbols of salvation and direction, leading those in danger to safety and security whether it be a danger of physical manifestations or of spiritual and moral trials and tribulation.

Lighthouses have been: beacons of civilization, architectural icons, symbols of human presence and safety, and navigational guides. They have also represented: a rugged coastal lifestyle, protection, salvation, guidance, illumination, never-ceasing watchfulness, steadfast endurance, and helpfulness.

Visual Identity

Minimalist, Elegant, & Simple.

Be highly scalable and provide opportunities for product integration and interactivity with ease of animation and implementation.

Wordmark

The Lighthouse wordmark carries a strong and unique typography stylized in a way that facilitates the association of the beacon light spreading and growing over the horizon. Helping to symbolize guidance, and security in an uncertain environment.

Symbol

The identity needs to function as an application icon, requiring it to be highly functional and scalable. The logo would need to work even scaled down to sizes as small as 15x15 px for web favicons and other implementations.

Themes explored:

Beacon, Security, Staking, Growth, Guidance, Safe keeping, Transformation, Shards.

Based on the core of “灯台 - Chizukigou” Japanese Map Symbol For Lighthouse Unicode U+26EF — ⛯.

Various iterative cycles were taken to examine how to best represent various themeatic and symbolic threads without complicating the logomark itself. The symbol was further refined and transformed to represent the core concepts and themes being explored around the Beacon chain, Staking, and Progress.

Eth 2.0 vs Ethereum Narrative

“Eth2.0 is a scalable PoS infrastructure in which we’ll place the Ethereum we know and love today”.

The logomark also required easy integration and interoperability with the existing brands for Ethereum and Sigmaprime.

As we move to ETH2 and participants start staking their funds, it is necessary to visually represent staked funds within the context of the Lighthouse Eth2.0 Client UI.

Color Theory

Iridescence

Iridescence (also known as goniochromism) is the phenomenon of certain surfaces that appear to gradually change color as the angle of view or the angle of illumination changes. Examples of iridescence include soap bubbles, feathers, butterfly wings, fish scales and seashell nacre, as well as certain minerals.

For water-dwelling creatures iridescent shine is a fundamental survival mechanism. A metallic sheen can dazzle and confuse predators, protecting fish swimming at shallow depths.

Ethereum Lighthouse Staking UI for Phase 0 Prototype.

What’s Next?

We look forward to releasing more information on the Lighthouse Eth2 Client UI as we get closer to Phase 0 Mainnet launch, looking forward to the great work being done by the Flexdapps team on development.

You can learn more about the extensive UX Research that has gone into the Ethereum 2.0 Lighthouse UI at: https://bit.ly/eth2uxreport

Join the Lighthouse Discord: https://discord.gg/cyAszAh

Stay tuned and follow the Sigma Prime Twitter for further updates:
https://twitter.com/sigp_io

If you have questions regarding this project or the process, reach out at:
https://twitter.com/qnou

Creative & Design by:
EMPIRE

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