Mighty Change Visage (aka Rebranding)
You might have heard, or not, but MetaCartel Ventures has undergone a makeover. They have been here ‘forever’ backing up web3 projects and initiatives in the crypto ecosystem to succeed. It’s worth grabbing a cuppa and reading the motivations that made this bunch of bright minds and committed professionals (and as well great people) sit together (remotely) and join efforts to establish a for-profit investment DAO. In short, they have been fuelling (at a low gas price!) in a decentralised way the development of community-first early-stage decentralised applications which have become the de-factor stack for the community. A fully-remote and community-oriented DAO powered by MetaCartel ruled by the Moloch v2 code and the savoir-faire of the mages. Yay!
Multiple Challenges Venue (aka Reasons for the change)
“There are no right or wrong ways, only different ways.”
Mages, Goblins, and Summoners had a pretty good understanding of the values at MetaCartel Ventures with some slightly different seasonings. The brand was built little by little based on scattered contributions from several members who were adding spiciness to the overall brand proposal. While keeping the virtues of the DAO, mages stepped aside to get professional support on the matter as the brand required a formal path definition. One of the main objectives was to give the identity more seriousness and elegance and wipe-off the identified confusion the audience had about the brand. The brand wanted to distance itself from its current narrative, not to necessarily change, but to mature as the scene has changed since its origin. And will continue to do so.
Even there was some crucial question everyone had yet no one dared to ask:
“What is the difference between MetaCartel Ventures and MetaCartel?
MetaCartel Ventures (Venture DAO) is a for-profit DAO created by the MetaCartel community for the purposes of making investments into early-stage Decentralized Applications (DApps).”
Some of the members already had some good experience with the rebranding of MetaFactory led by FLOC* which was in a similar shape as MetaCartel Ventures. Having very good vibes with the team, it was agreed with the community to get FLOC* aboard to address the branding challenges.
Since its inception, FLOC* has been providing design strategy leadership to crypto start-ups. A never-stop learning, experimenting, and popularising attitude through these involvements allows continuous delving into DeFi (Decentralised Finance), DAOs (Decentralised Autonomous Organisations), NFT (Non Fungible Tokens), the Social Tokens or the Metaverse.
In the last months FLOC* has started experimenting on several of the blockchain technologies and environments seeing how customers are either interacting or making business with. The aim at FLOC* is to transcend the involvement on the blockchain projects solely from the branding and design perspective to actually develop projects as a means to learn on the way. While some of the initiatives are soon to be fully released amongst which the social token $BIRRA, one of the major hypes of the 2021 at FLOC* was embracing the challenge of providing design services via synthetic labour NFT drops.
FLOC* made a brave movement becoming the first to provide synthetic professional services via Ethereum based NFTs providing a fully online and crypto-ready process. Four flavours were made available on the first NFT PackFLOC* collection covering Branding, Digital Product and Audiovisual deliveries: Adaptation, Discovery, Balance and Motion.
- Discovery focuses on the Brand Strategy and Identity.
- Balance targets the Website development along its UX/UI design.
- Motion delivers a tailor-made audiovisual piece.
- Adaptation is a one-of-a-kind complete pack which includes the aforementioned services in one go.
Meaning & Creating Value (aka Process)
Being a trendsetter, Metacartel Ventures was more than ready to acquire one of the synthetic labour NFTs offered by FLOC* for the Branding exercise. It allowed at the same time a transition to a new professional relationship model that might become business as usual in a very short time while strengthening the bond with yet another DAO making the circular ecosystem stronger and resilient.
The Culture+Philosophy+Personality (C+P+P) online workshop became the first step on a long journey that would craft the future of the entity and not solely beautify its logo. Having a vivid and wide community, MetaCartel Ventures accounts for many ways to understand the project’s vision, mission, and challenges. A two-fold approach was followed to capture feedback from the core members (5 labeled as Group 1) and as well as community members (10 labeled as Group 2). This contrast of perceptions allows to fine-tune if not to steer the project as to reinforce the pillars onto which the community is built and to fulfil the wishes of the community.
Some excerpts from the conclusions that arose from the conversation were highlighting the need to focus on the transition to multi-chain and having DAO as the main target boosting the development of the crypto future. The track record, the know-how, and the community creation were identified as differentiators while the closeness to the projects and community was by far the main opportunity. In the end, it’s not all about capital but the community.
A close, not arrogant, and playful tone already distilled in the comms and website has to continue.
Being community-driven means networking and teaming up to accomplish great goals together with honesty and openness which would lead to positive-sum impact projects.
The members are leaders in the ecosystem with extensive hands-on experience ready to propel multi-decade ground-breaking projects forward.
The ethos of MetaCartel Ventures sits on a start-up, informal, diverse, playful, innovative and rebel.
Moreover, when tackling the Golden Circle from Simon Sinek the exercise begins with the inner circle, which is the “why” which becomes the main argument and purpose. It sometimes evolves while refining the verbal part to craft a claim. Truly motivated on human and community-centric dynamics where to feel at home.
The next step is the “how”, which will be the characteristics that help MetaCartel Ventures to sustain the purpose. They are arguments, attributes, values, and also it’s the way the brand shows itself to the outer world. The diverse and extensive knowledge has to enable vetting and analysing on an ongoing conversation.
Last, but not least, the “what” is said. This is an effective description that defines who we are, what we do, what we are providing, what we are offering. Willing to change the world and supporting early-stage projects is key establishing crypto networks.
The word cloud is crystallised all the previous concepts that appeared on the previous exercises in a very visual manner.
Main Core Values (aka Brand Story)
The Brand Messaging at MetaCartel Ventures had some challenges to tackle. While having a lot of credibility with though leadership spread across many channels, sometimes the lexicon used on the communications was not aligned or became a bit confusing using scientific/mystical/magical slang which prevent the inclusion of the non-native. Ideas were eaten up by opinions on the conversations. Sometimes was not clear enough the roles of certain competitors who were as well collaborators.
The Brand Narration had to focus on building the 3.0 domain having the technology the merit it deserves as a problem solver and network enabler towards an ownership economy with scaling decision making while minimising securities at risk. The one would be that MetaCartel Ventures are builders. Builders of the impossible; this is what they master.
Being conscious of the nature of MetaCartel Ventures as a DAO, up to four different paths were taken for the Brand Story exercise. The aim was to spark internal discussions and provide choices to the community.
After some back-and-forth, a blend between The New Verse and The Brainchild was chosen. The New Verse was around the idea of building the impossible (aka web3) together whereas The Brainchild was providing context on cooperation and collaboration of visionaries with the ultimate flexibility. The outcome of the two brought an interesting Brand Story.
The mission is
MetaCartel’s mission is to accelerate and drive the mass adoption of Web3 and the open internet of value to make the world a richer fairer place.
The vision is
Our vision and direction are decentralised, iterative and driven by its members, not premeditated. Our success will emerge from the community’s own willingness to contribute, self organise and collaborate. Our strengths lie in being flexible and tolerate of the chaos that comes along with community ownership.
The main attributes are
Fusing Expertise Power Synchrony Tissue Construction Forces United
Web3 Invention Machine
The main values identified are
Insisting and investing in brain and builder capacity. Enthusiasm for creating Web3 culture and history. Our symphony is defined by justness, friendship and trust. Respected rebels aren’t reckless.
The value proposal is
We are builders and value protectors of Web3.
The Brand Idea becomes
Magnetic and imaginative sphere where visionaries come to bring out the best of the world- serving the New Verse Collective.
Finally, the purpose is
Builders of the next wave of reality that is coming…
Meet Current View (aka Identity)
To start creating the identity, the brand strategy had to be fully absorbed assessing the state, the objectives, and needs of the brand. And in the mix, the ambitions and values of MetaCartel Ventures were added.
One of the developed themes was spinning around the challenge of going premium without losing the anchor. Mezcal bottles provided the answer. The intention was to maintain the original flavour, yet elevate the brand experience.
The experience starts to show itself with the typographies, graphic lines, and visual elements such as monograms.
For the visual system, the aim was to show the “Builder” character of MetaCartel Ventures. There are no impossible ideas for the members of this DAO. Inspiration was coming from Escher as well as from some current video games. Isometric views were chosen because they allow building these impossible shapes as well as providing dynamic informational structures. The architecture had integrated into the infrastructure. These elements were either creating abstract shapes or hidden messages for viewers to decrypt.
The real challenge was to unite both worlds: tradition and craftsmanship with innovation and technology. Forged the brainchildren to discover “The New Verse”.
“We are builders and value protectors of Web3.”
As builders, it all starts by laying the foundation. In this case, the identifier is formed with the Logo (Verbal Part) and the Symbol or Symbols (Graphic element). Together they will form different forms of expression of the brand.
Logotype and Symbol do get along pretty well being one, but not only, of the brand identifiers.
The main identifier is built with a traditional structure: The Monogram centered at the top and then the main word: Metacartel. The line below behaves as a descriptive: Ventures.
The identifier is based on the inspiration of Mexican typographic lettering but with a new flair. MetaCartel letters have a decorative element that joins them at the same height and an outline that gives them depth. Both monochromatic and coloured versions have been created to adapt to all types of uses and needs.
Another important detail is that the M and C are wider than the rest of the letters. This has a reason, they are the main letters and will later serve for the reduced MCV version. Both sides have been adjusted to occupy the same space. The C is in the centre while the other two letters are balanced on both sides of the C. The space of the letter T takes advantage, which makes it distinctive and charismatic. This lettering has been designed by and for MetaCartel Ventures.
For the word “Ventures”, Condensed typography is used, taking the audience back to this premium world. This word is located in the centre of MetaCartel, next to ACA, making it another hidden message (MetaCartel AKA Ventures).
For the monogram of the brand, at a first glance two letters are seen being them the M and the C. When having a closer look, the V letter appears. The M and V surround and interact with the C of Cartel. This subtle way of condensing the previous lettering of MetaCartel Ventures creates an elegant, forceful, original, and refined symbol which work very well in several colour combinations.
Another spicy topic to address was, of course, the Chilli. In some meetings even the idea of wiping it off completely from the brand identity was shared. Having a nostalgic and sympathetic feeling which has been the most iconic way to identify the project made it stay while revisiting the object itself to blend with the rest of the identity elements.
Comparing now and then, the structure has been preserved yet toned down some of the colours. The most significant change has been the perspective. The new Chilli is seen from above whereas before it was from below. This new perspective is fully understood on the graphic system and visual elements. The symbol is very good because in it we can also see some of the important letters of the brand: The C in the Chili, the T with the hat, and the M or V in the shapes of the hat.
One-colour versions work in a more sophisticated way and help its application in different digital and printed formats. It’s also reminiscent of more traditional logos. Two versions have been created for both dark and light backgrounds.
For any system to function well, its different parts must be complementary to each other. Each of the elements of a system has a function and together they form a versatile identity. One of the most important responsibilities of an identity system is to create a space for personality.
The colour palette comes from the original Chilli symbol. The range has been expanded to complement the main use of black and white. These colours will serve to highlight certain graphic elements in the visual system.
The typographic set we have used consists of two typefaces. For the headlines and some highlighted texts, we have chosen the Editor. A strong serif typeface. A renewed classic with straight and geometric serifs that coexists perfectly with the visual system. For the rest of the texts, we will use Fixture. A very dynamic typeface as it has condensed and expanded weights. This typeface is the one we have used for the word Ventures. The inspiration comes from the world of premium beverage labelling. We will also decorate the texts with lines to get that sophisticated look.
The graphic elements are 3D isometric shapes that allow different compositions of (impossible) structures that link the concept of Builders.
Behind all decisions system, the scalability of complex constructions is found. Illustrations that tell stories, all independent and intertwined. The system breathes the brand’s strategy and approach. Influenced by the construction of Web3, where everything is possible and we return to the inspiration of the values of the origin of the Internet.
This new model has enabled the connection with the Brand3 concept that is championed at FLOC* in the construction of brands. With references such as Headless Brands, the aim is to offer DAOs the tools to adapt their brands to all media and applications. Knowledgeable of what the needs of Decentralised Autonomous Organisations are, dynamic and lively brands are crafted to work in different circumstances. The attraction and personalisation of community members are fundamental creating powerful and participative identities.
In this way we propose to create an illustration of a building with the main letter of the invested project. This way we get to put in value to the brand with which they support and serves as a distinction from other Venture DAO in the sector. In this way we promote the new character that we want to strengthen in MCV: The best Venture Builder DAO.
We are now amid the rebranding activation. It is time to start giving life to the brand, an identity that we want to evolve through the DAO’s decisions. And we want to be an active part of the community. We will continue to work on the digital spaces of the project, such as the Web. Here we want to start a process for one of the main points of contact to tell the benefits of the Web3. For this reason, some proposals include having exclusive content for investors, as well as giving movement to the illustrations and showing the action of building impossible ideas.
“El Segundo Conclave” is the beginning of the new direction of MCV, so we have prepared a very special gift for the attendees. A POAP that marks the beginning of the new vision of the DAO. A key point to continue leading the ecosystem and continue building together with the best brains in the crypto world the project that help to see the world from another perspective. Because that’s what we are here for, to build a better society.
The rebranding of MetaCartel Ventures has been an experience we will never forget. An adventure in which we had a great responsibility with the project. For us it is one of the great brands of the Metaverse and therefore there was a great responsibility to reinterpret and mature a brand with great relevance within the sector. We are confident that this will continue to be a long-term relationship to continue building together with the adventure of MCV and continue discovering new worlds in which to enjoy and learn from the best minds.
More Coming Voluntarily (aka Conclusion)
The adventure endeavoured has been great! Had the honour to feel the vibes of the project and embrace the challenges. The outcome had not only to have design validity but to be owned by the community. It’s how MetaCartel Ventures wants to be known for and how wants to relate with the ecosystem. The brave step towards a new brand strategy and identity update is just the beginning.
During these months we have met many members of MetaCartel Ventures. Each one of them has shown their experience and vision about the DAO. This has helped us to see that the most valuable part of a Brand3 is not the attributes or assets of the brand, but the union and mix that people from different places and with different backgrounds can do if they join forces. This is one of the great discoveries we took with us in our backpack and reason enough to propose to create side projects from within the organisation such as a magazine, apparel and merchandising, IRL events, and even a documentary film. Would be impressive to score how this group of magicians arises, how they shape their ideas into personal projects, and why they come together to build together with other entrepreneurs the most spectacular ideas we can imagine.
The feelings that emerged from this strategic process have marked the evolution of FLOC* and we hope that it will also have an impact on the evolution of MetaCartel Ventures.
A challenge that is not over, but a goal accomplished and where there are still many things to celebrate. And of course, the best thing will be to celebrate with a shot of MetaCartel Ventures’ very own Mezcal, an exclusive launch that we want to see very soon in the best marketplaces….