YEN: Legacy 2019 Brand Book

I spent way too much money on this and I wanted to at least surface it before I leave the blog entirely. YEN has an amazing brand and I’m proud of what we’ve built, both visually, technically, and more importantly our culture. Our culture, as a team and as a community, is fucking nails.

The following content has been untouched since early-2019. It’s neat to see some of the great content / positioning work that we did.

YEN 2019 Brand Book

We are excited to share our new identity and brand! This digital book was created to capture more than just our new visual markers, iconography, and text treatments — it was created to give words to the essence of who we are as a community, our values, and our purpose.

In other words, our new brand was designed specifically with all of you in mind! You inspire us to be the very best version of ourselves and to pour that love directly into our platform and product!

There’s a lot here but we’ll shortcut you to the more popular areas as well as the downloadable files that you’ll want to use in your own designs and digital creations! We can’t see them so make sure you share with us all that you produce! We’ll make sure it gets the attention it deserves!

Table of Contents:

There’s a bunch here, so, take your time.

  1. Who We Are
  2. Brand Architecture
  3. Verbal Identity — Example messaging (e.g. conversation starters!)
  4. Visual Identity — Downloadable art for your own creations!
  5. Graphic Devices
  6. Photography
  7. Applications

Who We Are

It’s impossible to fully capture the real essence of who we are as a community but we’ve taken a stab at it.

A big Thank You to TheWorkingAssembly for leading our process!

Let’s get this party started! 🎉

YEN is a social platform that promotes an exchange of ideas by encouraging interaction among its members and emphasizing the value of relationships.

This is why we exist. This is what we will do.

Our Mission:

To create community building tools for everyone everywhere

YEN is a community of communities… providing a trusted platform for education, sharing, community management and growth. YEN’s success is dependent upon the success of the communities they serve and the greater impact and effect that those communities have on the world. YEN aims to help its community build material and relational wealth, by creating valuable, meaningful relationships that are based on mutual respect and understanding.

We believe in the importance of connection and belonging, to build a healthy community, which allows for open dialogue and conversation to get the most value out of a decentralized system.

We’ve got a longer post sharing how this contributes to our culture here.

Our Values:

  1. Curiosity — We are curious people and like engaging with other curious minds who have a passion for learning.
  2. Dignity & Respect of Individuals — We want every relationship and interaction to be based on mutual respect.
  3. Leave it on the Table (#TATT) — We believe in transparency, honesty, and sharing — always working to improve our communication.
  4. Count the Costs — We think every decision should have the big picture in mind and consider the downstream consequences, not just the immediate impact.

Brand Architecture

This is how we’ve crafted not just our angle and approach but also how we speak about the community that we love so much.

Cultivating the conversations of the future.

YEN is a platform that makes it easy for people to find and exchange ideas with others who make them feel comforted, respected, and validated, and where the strength of individual connections is inextricably linked to the growth of the community.

From a community to a community.

To provide a place for learning and sharing about a community to a community, propelling everyone to win.

A community of communities built on a shared success.

A social platform that brings people together to foster education and discovery — sharing value in a safe and positive community.

Verbal Identity

Most of you are already familiar with our approach to content, messaging, and the quirky and fun personality that we have as a community — here are some helpful examples that you may find useful (you should always personalize it in some way, of course).

If these seem very similar to our values then you’d be right.
  1. Community & Relationship Focused — Driven by community but also building tools to serve the community.
  2. Curious — Constantly trying to learn and discover.
  3. Whimsical & Playful — Has some attitude, flavor, and personality (e.g. The Yenicorn)
  4. Trusted & Reliable — Focused on respecting users, their data privacy, and their unique needs.
  5. Passionate & Caring — Dedicated to helping users reach their goals and improving their experience.

How We Speak

Our tone of voice is friendly, welcoming, intelligent, and informative. Every message from YEN should feel like an invitation with a compelling reason to join, but without any pressure. YEN always speaks positively about our community, our members, and all the possibilities that come from connections.

We Are:

  1. Clever
  2. Intriguing
  3. Fun
  4. Positive
  5. Reflective of pop culture

We Are Not:

  1. Vague
  2. Misleading
  3. Naive
  4. Competitive
  5. Beholden to trends
We actually believe this. Challenge us. Test us on this. Prove us wrong, we dare you.

Relationships are everything.

The only slide with a real, authentic, stock photo. 🙃

Not just empty, one-way conversations where posts are cast into the digital abyss in the hopes of getting likes, comments, or follows.

Our in-person events are some of the best!

But really connecting with others. The people with whom you feel comfortable, respected, and validated.

These three are just one of the many examples of real relationships being formed.

At YEN we’re creating a community where real people can build real relationships.

Where people of all experience levels are welcome. Where everyone gets it, because everyone is in on the joke. And where you’ll likely encounter a mythical, one-horned creature.

Our first global meetup was amazing!

And, we’re making it easy for like-minded people to find their way here. To exchange ideas around crypto. To educate and encourage one another. And, maybe even meet in real life.

Our shared interest and love for crypto is just one part of who we are as individuals and as a community!

But crypto is the what. It’s not the why.

You see this in our product — these are some of our guiding principles of design.

YEN is a community that curates. That collaborates. That cultivates. All to create relationships.

As if we couldn’t say it any louder!

Because relationships are everything.

A few examples of messaging that we are playing around with for individual users.

We hope that these Messaging Examples for both the Individual User as well as the Community Manager and Organizer will resonate with you. Feel free to customize each to your own liking!

Come for the crypto, stay for the community.

Everybody’s into something. We’re into connecting you with people who are into whatever you’re into.

Meet. Share. Repeat. It’s that kind of community.

Meet. Share. Turn the internet into a place where you actually meet interesting people and create meaningful relationships.

Find community. Join community. Forge valuable relationships before robot overlords outlaw human contact.

You’re one solid relationship away from validating that thing that you’re really into but you’re not sure if anyone else is.

Into something cool that isn’t even on anyone else’s radar yet? We’ve got lots of people here into that same thing.

Start a conversation about crypto. Start a relationship about everything else.

It’s that thing of when you feel like nobody gets you, and then suddenly you find a place where everyone gets you.

A few examples of messaging that we are playing around with for community managers.

A community that helps you manage your community. Sweet.

It’s easier to manage your community if you’re part of our community.

We’d like to help you run your community by bringing you into our community.

A community with the tools and resources to help manage your community.

Visual Identity

The moment we’ve all been waiting for! You’ll find not only downloadable art and collateral but also the why behind our new word-mark and visual identity! We hope that you get the sense that we took our time to deeply consider our collective expression of what it means to be part of the wide and wonderful world of the #yeniverse!

Ready? Here are the goods.

There she is! 🎉🚀👍🏼

For those that want to just dive right in we’ve got pretty much everything that you’ll need to create sweet branded gear, art, and more!

NOTE: By downloading our brand assets you acknowledge both the visual and general messaging guidelines provided here. But, we believe that our “brand” is more than just the sum and specifics of our visual and messaging markers, it’s about how we feel about who we are as a community and what we do with what we have… and with whom. We’re a community of activists, where it isn’t enough to just know about the future; we are actively participating in building it for others.

Download the .zip file below or via Dropbox.

You’ll find logos, lockups, patterns, iconography, example “portals”, favicons, and more! Don’t forget to publicly ping @yen with your custom art!

Visual Identity Guidelines

A few things to consider when considering our logo, our colors, and our typography.

Our logo, our colors, and our typography.

Our logo is bold, clean, and unique. The curved edges and straight lines are a subtle nod to Japanese Characters. The mirrored curvature in the Y and the N is an abstract interpretation of a portal to the Yeniverse.

The measurement of X, which is equivalent to half the height of the Y logo, is used to determine the minimum amount of clear space around all variates of the primary logo.

Color Pairings:

Follow these guidelines for best practices when placing the logo on different backgrounds:

  1. White background blue logo
  2. White background orange logo
  3. Mint background orange logo
  4. Mint background orange logo
  5. Yellow background blue logo
  6. Yellow background orange logo
  7. Blue background white logo
  8. Orange background white logo

Note: Our logo should only be colored in blue, orange, and white.

Logo Don’ts:

It is important that we maintain the strength of logo, which is why we never alter the YEN logo in any way. Here are some examples of misuses:

  1. DO NOT tilt the logo
  2. DO NOT stretch the logo
  3. DO NOT recolor the logo outside recommended color pairings
  4. DO NOT typeset the logo
  5. DO NOT use a logo color combination outside the provided color pairings
  6. DO NOT place the logo in a container shape
  7. DO NOT manipulate the lockup of the logo
  8. DO NOT use any transparencies or effects with the logo
  9. DO NOT outline the logo

Color Palette:

Our primary palette is comprised of a few colors: mint, yellow, white, black, and our signature blue and orange. These colors are used liberally across all YEN communications.

  • Blue // Pantone 300 C // CMYK 83%, 69%, 0%, 0% // HEX #3954E7 // RGB 57, 84, 231
  • Mint // Pantone 324 C // CMYK 33%, 0%, 23%, 0% // HEX #BAF3DA // RGB 186, 243, 218
  • Orange // Pantone 1655 C // CMYK 0%, 82%, 95%, 0% // HEX #FF5100 // RGB 255, 81, 000
  • Yellow // Pantone 106 C // CMYK 2%, 7%, 92%, 0% // HEX #F7E145 // RGB 247, 225, 69
  • White // Pantone WHITE // CMYK 0%, 0%, 0%, 0% // HEX #FFFFFF // RGB 255, 255, 255
  • Black // Pantone Black 6 C // CMYK 0%, 0%, 0%, 100% // HEX #000000 // RGB 0, 0, 0

Usage Ratio:

When applying color to any given piece of communication, reference the usage ratio shown at the right as a general guide The majority of our brand presence should consist of mint, blue, and orange.

Text on White:

When using text on a white background it is best to keep colors saturated and bold. For our primary headline copy, we use blue, as for our accent colors we can use orange or mint. ue to legibility, it is best to keep our body copy color black.

In instances where there is only a large headline copy, it is best to keep it blue.

It’s expensive, so, we suggest using the alternatives for your own creations.

Primary Typeface:

Circular Std is our primary typefaace and should be used across all brand collateral advertising and digital platforms.

Secondary Typeface:

Squada One is our secondary typeface and should be used as display type throughout all platforms.

NOTE: Squada is best used with less words. We like to keep it less than 4 words in a sentence when using squada as display.

Type Hierarchy:

To the right is a typography guide for the YEN brand. Here are a few additional notes to keep in mind when setting type: Whenever possible, text is left-aligned. Centered typographic layouts are for special cases and should be used as a last resort.

Type Usage:

This charge shows the correct range of line lengths for headline lengths. In most use-cases, the width of a line should range between 10 and 15 characters for maximum legibility.

Google Fonts Alternative:

DM Sans is our alternate typeface to be used in circumstances where Circular Std is unavailable. Download it here.

Graphic Devices

A few examples of how we might use the brand.

NOTE: All of the following are concepts and not final pieces of art and collateral.


Our graphic device focuses on human connection and is visually interpreted into photography of people’s silhouettes on our brand color background.

The people use are unidentifiable (either cropped off or faced away from the camera) and saturated with a high contrast. the purpose of these photos is to interact with our other graphic elements such as our logo and type.


Follow these guideliens when imagery interacts with our logo or type:

  1. Imagery should always be silhouetted and refined.
  2. Photo silhouettes are only paird with our logo, our headline font (`Squada One), or the portal.
  3. Keep the logo / type readable. The silhouette should not cover more than 30% of the logo / type.
  4. Ensure there is enough contrast between the photography and the surrounding colors.

Lockup Dos:

It is important that we maintain the consistency in lockup treatments. Here are some examples of correct ways of using the system:

Logo Flexibility:

The only time our logo may be altered is when the Y or the N are broken apart to be used as an organic framing device or decorative element.

Use the correct examples shown at the right as a general guide when constructing your own arrangements.

The one and only.

The Yenicorn:

According to myth and legend, our friend, The Yenicorn, was raised by a herd of Japanese unicorns in a mysterious other worldly… … world.

She knows (as prophecy has foretold) that sh has a very important part to play in the cryptocurrency community but is understandably a big nervous and often lacks a bit of self-confidence (thus the helmet) — but she wants to help people and do her very best!

And, she’s very happy and excited to meet you!

The Yeniverse:

The Yeniverse is a special place which is only accessed by the counter forms of the Y and N. The counters can be used in both directions as portals to the Yeniverse!

It is quite possible that whispers of something called a yoken may appear with a similar look-and-feel.

The Yeniverse with Imagery:

In order to enter The Yeniverse, one must go through the portal. Elements of the silhouetted photography interact within this space, coming in or out of the portal.

Follow these guidelines when entering the portal:

  1. Imagery should not exceed over 40% of the portal.
  2. The corners of the portal must be visible to ensure safe travels to The Yeniverse.
  3. When entering the portal, a portion of the imagery has to be cut off to give the illusion of entering.
  4. Portal must always be straight, and right up or down of the Y and N counters.
  5. The portal colors are only our brand’s mint and dark blue.
A few examples of The Portal to The Yeniverse.

The Yeniverse with Photography:

A closer look into the portal of The Yeniverse will show the community events and gatherings that happen at YEN. When introducing event photography in the portal, please follow these guidelines:

  1. Only use the zoomed-in crop of the portal. This is to ensure you get the whole view of the imagery and photo.
  2. The portal should always extend off (either to the left or right side) — it should never sit in the middle of the page.
  3. To streamline the community photography we apply a duotone (please see guidelines).


Our pattern takes inspiration from the wordmark and the flexibility of YEN’s culture and verbiage. It represents an abstract visual interpretation of blockchain through the stretching of the Y and the N as well as providing movement in the form.

Blockchain Lockup:

Our lockup is extracted from our blockchain pattern, this time giving emphasis on the verbiage in the YEN community.


Our icon style is inspired by the curves and geometric forms that creates our logo. It is a mixture of single stroke weight with some solid elements.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating icons for YEN:

  1. Keep it simple! Icons, especially those that will be used small on the site, should be quickly read.
  2. Use geometric forms to create shapes.
  3. Maintain identical line weight for defining strokes.
  4. Apply identical stroke curve for rounded elements at the top of icons.


Some fun examples of use!


Due to the air in The Yeniverse, everything is blue. Please follow the guidelines on how to apply a blue duotone onto photography.

Duotone How To:

If you use Adobe Photoshop:

  1. Make photo black and white (Image >> Mode >> Grayscale) and add contrast.
  2. Convert photo into Duotone (Image >> Mode >> Duotone)
  3. Select colors and change to HEX #b5c6e8 and 351caf
  4. Convert photo into RGB (Image >> Mode >> RGB)
  5. Merge layers and then export as JPEG.


Print, swag, digital… oh my!

Here are some neat examples and concepts that we’ve come up with.

That’s it!