Designing for DeFi

A Journey Towards Peace of Mind

Lukas Schor
4 min readSep 25, 2019


On Aug 16, Gnosis updated and consolidated our branding to reflect our values as a company. In An Owl Gets New Wings, we shared an updated logo and hinted at some upcoming new product releases. In this series, we will focus on the Gnosis Safe’s branding and share some insight on designing accessible blockchain applications.

We took a holistic approach to the rebranding, which went far beyond creating a new logo. Revamping the Gnosis Safe branding included improvements in:

  • New Messaging
  • New Visual Appearance
  • User Experience
  • Feature Priority / Product Roadmap

In this mini-series, we will walk you through some fundamental UX primitives that are unique to DeFi/crypto and how we came up with the look and feel of the Gnosis Safe.

Refining the product messaging

One thing we’ve learned from our user research is that a major blocker for DeFi adoption (and crypto in general) is the complexity and uncertainty involved. Users often associate wallets and dapps with words like “complicated, risky, intransparent and unintuitive.” This is why we want to position the Gnosis Safe as the antidote to DeFi headaches. The Gnosis Safe should stand for “Peace of Mind” and a positive user experience that inspires trust. We’ve achieved this peace of mind by focusing on three messaging pillars outlined below.

🔐 Secure by design

💸 Crypto without the hassle

⚙️ You are in control

These pillars are the foundation of our overall messaging and communications strategy. They also serve as a definitive guide for our development team and inform the decision-making process behind which features to prioritize and how they should be implemented. In an upcoming blogpost in this series, we will take a closer look at each of these pillars and how they contribute to what the Gnosis Safe offers users.

While these pillars describe the Gnosis Safe’s values, they don’t really speak to our product vision. Initially we chose the slogan “enter the decentralized web” to highlight the interoperability of the Gnosis Safe, which aims to help users better interact with web3 applications.

“Enter the decentralized web”

Wallets, and more specifically, smart contract wallets, are the gateway to an ever-growing network of decentralized applications and protocols. While there are seemingly unlimited opportunities to expand this trustless ecosystem, the main use cases we see today are generally centered around financial tools (#DeFi). So while users initially turn to wallets to store crypto, they will eventually want to put these funds to use — both for dapp interaction and wealth management. Funds can be lent out to earn interest, used as collateral to take out a loan, utilized as a payment tool, or invested into store of values. Our new slogan represents the Gnosis Safe’s ability to facilitate these interactions as well as our commitment to security, which we believe is our key differentiator from other non-custodial wallet solutions. Our new slogan reads:

“The most secure way to manage your crypto funds”

Because the Gnosis Safe is the most secure wallet inspiring peace of mind for our users as they interact with decentralized finance.

Visual appearance

A core component of every rebranding is the visual appearance of both the product and the communication around it. This also meant we had to rethink the Gnosis Safe logo and color scheme. Our new logo is focused on what the Gnosis Safe is at its core: a safe place to store your digital assets

The color pallet was chosen very carefully. The old Gnosis Safe Blue was meant to be appealing to developers and tech-enthusiasts. However, we wanted to find a color scheme that catered to a wider audience. So we took a look at all the colors out there (spoiler: there’s a lot) and eventually settled for, what we now internally call, the “Hold Green”.

This choice was greatly informed by psychological studies on color association which revealed that green represents:

  • 🤑 Wealth
  • 🕊️ Peace
  • 🌾 Growth
  • ⛰️ Natural world
  • 💶 Money

So this seemed like the perfect fit for a smart wallet that provides a level of security inspiring peace of mind for users.

Next up

In the next installment of this series, we will go into detail on how the Gnosis Safe is “Secure by design” and how this represents an important aspect of our branding. Make sure to follow us on Medium/Twitter below to not miss out!

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Lukas Schor

Product Management @ Gnosis // Opinions are my own and not the views of my employer