Creating a visual language and story for one of the first crypto-backed lending platforms.

When BlockFi came to my agency, it was one guy with an idea — to provide cryptoasset owners the liquidity they couldn’t get with their Bitcoin or Ether without having to sell. We took on the challenge to turn the idea into a real product and one year later, a team of one grew to eight and raised over $50M in funding and partnerships.

Things I worked on: brand direction, pitch deck presentation, illustration, website design, project management, product design, art direction  

One of my first isometric illustrations.

The Brand

We needed to create a brand that was familiar enough to the financial world that it wouldn’t scare the corporations away,  but modern enough to excite the new wave of cryptoasset owners. It also needed to ensure trust to distinguish itself from the other scam-looking ICO or blockchain brands that were beginning to saturate the industry.

After a round of moodboards with the client, we established a deep dark blue palette – familiar, trusting, and classic. Incorporating cyan accents and isometric visuals added to the new modern aesthetic we aimed for.

Logo design by Arix King
Brand Guidebook executed by Matt Bordey

The Website

BlockFi’s potential customers needed a website to explain just how simple it was to take out a loan with them, despite there being such things like loan to value ratios and margin calls that were unique to their process.

Our research included looking at the company’s predecessors, what they did right and how we could incorporate similar user flows for our own goals. We also looked at the competitors and found several experiences we wanted to avoid. There was very little comparison in the market at the time, so it was also important we go in with an experimental mindset, aware that the site would go through several iterations to reach an ideal user experience.

Researching common blocks of information in traditional lending sites

One exciting milestone we hit was implementing a  loan calculator onto the site. Originally,  we wanted to create something fun and interactive to gauge these new users into the BlockFi product.  Our first designs involved the user entering a loan amount to see how much they would profit if the crypto market went up from 1% to 300% – something well possible at the time. Now, who knows? 

From our analytics, we quickly realized many people didn't know how to interact with our shiny bells and whistles, and were falling off as a result. So, we went back to researching how other loan calculators functioned, asking what are the most important bits of information people are looking for? At the end, we stripped the tool to its bare essentials — the loan terms, which included how much collateral would be needed for their requested loan amount, monthly payment amount, interest rate, and their margin call price (ask me about this if you want to know more). We also pre-populated the page as a default, with an example loan to make the numbers completely clear. Completion rate has more than doubled since.

The Platform

BlockFi is currently running their V2 loan application and customer portal. My team and I enjoyed the process from the very beginning, helping ideate on and lock in feature requirements, inspire with wireframe prototypes, and provide final hi-fidelity screens to the engineer team.

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