EmergentX’s warped redesign is like stepping into a video game

The company’s new identity by adam&eveDDB uses variable font technology to transform letterforms from glitchy to legible, symbolising its ambition to demystify opaque tech developments

It’s been a couple of years since blockchain technology landed in our lives in a big way. We were shown how it could change the way we spend money, attribute value and ownership, and organise societies. But ask most people what the technology actually does in practice and you might not get a clear answer.

This is the value proposition that EmergentX hinges itself on: taking disruptive emergent tech, such as blockchain, and translating it into useful applications for all kinds of products and contexts; recently, it has introduced digital tokenisation to wine investment and a Singaporean fitness brand.

EmergentX’s emphasis on framing blockchain in clear, practical terms – and the assimilation of complicated tech in our lives more generally – became the foundation of the company’s new identity, led by adam&eveDDB. “We established that the tension in the brief was between the weirdness of emerging technologies and how familiar and functional they can soon feel in our lives,” said adam&eveDDB’s creative director of design, Chris Chapman. “It soon became clear the solution needed to be both.”

At the heart of the new identity and digital experience is variable font technology. Working with Modern Type and Metis Foundry (MTMF), the team devised EX Abstract, a font that morphs between abstract, glitchy figures and legible letterforms (though still with a point of intrigue in the details like the angular descenders).

Dalton Bruyns and Simon Bent at MTMF explained that they began to abstract the lettering and then allowed the software to take it to the point that “they could no longer be recognised as letters”. The transition between these two states is a metaphor for EmergentX’s goal of clarifying complex technologies.

The brand’s website was developed by Zachary Bishop, who said the “unusual variable font” opened up “many more possibilities of interactivity and expression”. The variable font technology is paired with Jack Collis’ graphic animations and intense, mechanical sound design by Aaron Taffel, so that simple interactions, like hovering over text or imagery, come to life in the way you might expect in a video game.

Kevin King, brand and product developer at EmergentX, said that “the identity perfectly mirrors the essence of our work, transforming initially perplexing blockchain technology into a simple, everyday tool that empowers people.”