Sock’s branding subverts the cold world of crypto

Through warm character designs and an inviting colour palette, Koto’s approach appeals to the app’s target demographic of “natives and novices”

Graphic showing Sock's branding on an image headlined 'A community building web3 confidence' and a block of 9 cartoons against colour backgrounds

Global design agency Koto has joined up with cryptocurrency app Sock to help it disrupt the sterile world of crypto branding. Breaking away from the crowd with its accessible and playful approach, Sock wanted to reflect this ethos in its new identity.

Even the name itself hints at Sock’s tongue-in-cheek attitude, showing that despite taking its mission seriously, there is always room for a little fun. Sock was taken from the many ‘creative ways’ people choose to store their money, alluding to the old sock drawer that was a favourite in years gone by.

As such, Koto worked with London-based illustrator Shin Hye Lee to develop a cast of friendly, whimsical figures to populate the app’s interface, tying into the appetite for illustrated characters in branding at the moment. Beyond simply guiding users through the various sections and features, the characters also serve to bring some warmth to what can often be a lifeless experience.

Speaking on the collaboration with Lee, Dave Ladd, executive creative director at Koto, says that the team instantly “knew she was the right person for the job”. He goes on: “Her style has always been incredibly versatile, and unexpected. From the beginning, we knew we wanted to build a character-driven brand, so Shin was involved from the very start of the design process.”

At the centre of Lee’s characters is Toni, the brand’s new “friendly mascot”, who is accompanied by many other equally amiable figures. Uniting all of them is their playful, whimsical appearance, which has been rendered using the artist’s simple yet engaging style.

This is further emphasised through the use of a bold colour palette and captivating animations, the latter of which brings the cast to life by introducing subtle, satisfying movement. Together, these elements make for an experience that feels distinct and personal – a rare occurrence in the crypto world.

Composite image of Sock's branding showing three cartoon characters each against an orange, yellow, and pink background, headlined 'step into crypto', 'pair up with Sock', and 'follow me to Web 3' respectively
Graphic healined 'Buddy' up with two cartoon characters against a green background