Top Cryptocurrency Logos Explained (Technical Analysis)

Cryptocurrency is a growing mega-trend and their logos may influence our choice of whether we should or should not trust and invest in one.

I’ve reviewed some of the best cryptocurrencies in terms of their visual esthetics to give you an opinion on what’s good about them.

A logo is how something is recognized and understood and this is crucial especially when it comes to your hard-earned money.

All banks and financial institutions know that. Their identity is on point. Just look at Chase bank, Bank of America, TD Bank etc.

But, once I’ve seen some of the top cryptocurrencies and their logos I was deeply disturbed. Most of these logos are poorly designed, which may result in discouraging potential customers from taking any investing.

Some of these logos are not just ugly, but they simply won’t work. I believe that the life of a designer is a life of fight. Fight against the ugliness. Just like a doctor fights against disease.

For us, the visual disease is what we have around, and what we try to do is cure it somehow with design. I wasn’t hired to fix those logos, but just wanted to point out some good and bad things about them. What I believe works or does not work.

So when it comes to any logo design (not only cryptocurrency), I strive for two things:

simplicity and clarity

And I strongly believe that great design is born of those two things. In Addition to that I believe that a logo must be:

  • simple
  • memorable
  • timeless
  • versatile
  • and appropriate

By adhering to these criteria of successful logo design I have analyzed 10 top cryptocurrencies and their logos with Bitcoin on the very top and other 9 alternative cryptocurrencies that fight for the investors’ attention.

Please notice I omit variations of the same currency like Bitcoin Cash etc. just because they use very similar or the same logo.

Cryptocurrency list  – over 1,300 cryptocurrencies as of late 2017

Top 7 cryptocurrencies:

1. Bitcoin

Bitcoincryptocurrency is the world’s first peer-to-peer decentralized digital currency, which is now not only the most recognized and known cryptocurrency but also the only digital currency that is most widely accepted and used in numerous real-world transactions. Bitcoin is arguably the best crypto currency.

Bitcoin symbol – a capital letter B with two falling strokes at the top and bottom directly refer to a dollar sign which I believe is the best single visual treatment in this logo.

The distinctive “B” is imposed on an orange circle that makes it actually look like a coin. Next, the coin is slightly slanted to the right which together with the italic wordmark add to dynamism of this volatile currency.

bitcoin logo design analysis
Bitcoin cryptocurrency

Pros 👍

  • visual nod to the dollar sign
  • bold, simple typography
  • reference to a coin
  • distinctive color

Cons 👎

  • generic look
  • the serif “B” and the sans serif wordmark don’t match
  • inaccurate proportions between logo and wordmark

2. Ripple

Ripple connects banks, payment providers, digital asset exchanges and corporates via RippleNet to provide one frictionless experience to send money globally. It’s another cryptocurrency next to Bitcoin, but in terms of visual aesthetics, it’s the absolute winner.

Ripple got in its logo three dots, which connected together form a unique symbol that can represent the blockchain technology. The logo is simple, memorable & modern.

The particles are in perfect relation to each other forming a triangle which is aligned to the right, so it sort of sticks to the logotype. The subtle gradient applied on the mark looks modern plus the blue color evoke trust and wisdom.

ripple logo design analysis
Ripple cryptocurrency

Pros 👍

  • the simple and bold typography with just right letterspacing
  • the symbol conveys decentralization, connectivity, flow
  • the blue gradient that evokes trust and wisdom
  • perfect proportions between the symbol and the wordmark

3. Litecoin

Litecoin is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and open source software project released under the MIT/X11 license. Creation and transfer of coins are based on an open source cryptographic protocol and is not managed by any central authority.

Litecoin mark is actually an existing character from a computer’s character map and a letter of the Polish alphabet, which makes it look recognizable instantly.

Litecoin uses a distinctive first letter of its name – similarly to Bitcoin. However, the “Ł” letter exists in some alphabets like Polish e.g. (my origins) and the pronunciation is very different than “L”. It may cause some confusion. On top of that, the symbol uses Uppercase while we name uses lowercase. The symbol is in italic while the wordmark is not. the symbol is bold while the wordmark is set in the light font. The grey color makes it look weak and it projects overall poor impression.

litecoin logo design analysis
Litecoin cryptocurrency

Pros 👍

  • simple and legible typography
  • reference to a coin (circle)
  • right balance between symbol and wordmark

Cons 👎

  • “Ł” is an existing letter is Polish, confusing
  • lack of visual link between “Ł” from symbol and lowercase “l”
  • grey color make is look very weak and fragile

4. Dash

Use Dash to make instant, private payments online or in-store using our secure open-source platform hosted by thousands of users around the world.

Dash name stand for Digital + Cash. The name is set in a custom typeface that is bold, dynamic and distinctive enough to make an impact.

Dash is Digital Cash you can spend anywhere. That’s the first thing we can see on the Dash website. Well, it makes sense. The name combines the first letter of “Digital” with the word “Cash”. D + Cash = Dash. A great name, also a great logotype.

 

Dash logo design analysis
Dash cryptocurrency

Pros 👍

  • unique typography
  • distinctive D
  • dynamic wordmark

Cons 👎

  • omnipresent blue color (like Chase)

5. NEM

NEM is the world’s first Smart Asset blockchain. Built from the ground up for enterprise-grade performance, NEM’s blockchain technology delivers a world-class platform for management of almost any kind of asset: currencies, supply chains, notarizations, ownership records and more.

Helvetica with tight letters-pacing will always look good. The colorful three-arm symbol is not bad, but the proportion between symbol and wordmark are inaccurate.

Helvetica-like typography set in bold with tight letterspacing will always look good. We can find so many brands using a similar typeface in their logos (Lufthansa, Jeep, Gilette). The three-arm symbol is appropriate and set in bright colors makes it look very appealing, however the proportions between wordmark and symbol are way off balance.

NEM logo design analysis
NEM cryptocurrency

Pros 👍

  • simple & bold typography
  • distinctive symbol (triskelion)
  • vibrant colors

Cons 👎

  • symbol and wordmark off balance (proportions)
  • weird position of the symbol (as it’s a star)

6. Monero

Monero is a secure, private, and untraceable cryptocurrency. It is open-source and accessible to all. With Monero, you are your own bank. Only you control and are responsible for your funds. Your accounts and transactions are kept private from prying eyes.

The “M” in the symbol divides the circle into 2 parts and the color separates it further which looks somehow original. However, the wordmark’s “M” is of a different shape which makes it look inconsistent.

The name is set in all caps and legible sans serif typography. However, the weight of the font and the weight of the line in the “M” symbol doesn’t match. The first letter of the name uses totally different “M” than the one in the circle (inconsistency).

Monero logo design analysis
Monero cryptocurrency

Pros 👍

  • simple & legible typography
  • distinctive treatment with the M dividing the circle
  • vibrant orange color

Cons 👎

  • generic symbol
  • “M” in the symbol doesnt match “M” in the name
  • Color separates the top part of the negative space (no purpose)

7. Zcash

Zcash is the first open, permissionless cryptocurrency that can fully protect the privacy of transactions using zero-knowledge cryptography.

At first glance, Zcash logo looks like a copy-cat of Bitcoin. Hold on, it is a copy-cat. Same treatment, slightly different execution. Even the color is too similar. Not so smart guys, not so smart.

However, the logo wasn’t designed to work separately from the name (like Bitcoin). So if you separated the coin-like “Z” symbol from the name – you just end up with “Cash” word.

Zcash logo design analysis
Zcash cryptocurrency

Pros 👍

  • coin-like symbol
  • subtle orange gradient

Cons 👎

  • very generic, standard looking typography
  • the stroke is too thick on the symbol
  • “Z” should be repeated in the wordmark

Conclusions

When it comes to money investment, you want to particularly pay attention to the visual aspects of your identity system with a logo in its core.

I’ve reviewed these cryptocurrency logos, so you can actually learn from the life-case scenarios and avoid potentially costly mistakes when it comes to your logo design. Remember, whether it’s a new cryptocurrency, financial institution or any other business or venture – logo design principles are always the same.

An effective logo is more than the sum of its parts. The colors, shapes, fonts, and words chosen all need to work together to form a harmonious whole.

Therefore, every decision you make when you pick a logo can have an impact on the way your brand is perceived.

Is the logo friendly, capable, trustworthy enough?
Does it project the desired perception?
Will it work across variety of media?

Designers like me, use these forms of visual language (among others) to make sure that the brand comes to life in the most appropriate manner and makes an impact from the first encounter.

Color
The colors you choose for your logo send an immediate message to the people who see it. If you select colors that don’t work well with the brand personality you want to convey, then you may lose people as soon as they see your logo.

Bitcoin color

Certain colors speak directly to the industries they represent. In finances, blue is a common choice for the banking industry because of the symbolic link between blue and trust, calmness, flow.

Shape
The shapes you use in your logo, as well as the logo’s overall shape, is important, too. Circles tend to convey warmth and community, and it’s also the shape of coin.

Bitcoin shape
Bitcoin shape

Square and rectangles are more orderly and balanced, while triangles can signify excitement. Sometimes a company might use one shape inside their logo (square inside the chase bank), but use a different one as the shape of the logo as a whole.

Typeface
Many logos incorporate the names of companies or their slogans. In such cases, the fonts you pick are just as important as the words. You may choose to use a fancy or elaborate font in your logo, but your first consideration should always be readability.

Bitcoin typeface
Bitcoin typeface

Logo designers sometimes use fonts and then embellish them with other design elements. Again, the font you choose should do a good job of representing your brand’s image and mission.

Overall look&feel

Finally, you need to think about the emotions conveyed by your logo. Everything should work together to create a harmonious whole.

A company that targets investors might use a strong and solid color such as blue, combined with a sans serif font and a circular shape. The combined effect sends a clear message that this is a company that can be trusted, is progressive and capable.

What do you think about these Cryptocurrency logos?

Did you spot other pros and cons? Share your comments below and share this article on social media. Please also check my other article where I analyze startup logos.