When written or typed a bitcoin symbol, much like the dollar symbol, can be used as a glyph. The forms are made from the letters 'B' and 'C' and are read simply as 'Bitcoin'
The word ‘Bitcoin’ has been popping up in our news feeds for the last few years now. Recently. It seems I can’t go a day without seeing a new article either acclaiming the positive aspects, labeling it a scam, or simply trying to demystify Bitcoin’s inner workings. The problem is, there’s an abundance of information about the topic, but much of it is written by people with technical know-how, using terms and references that real humans don’t use. At the end of the day, Bitcoin is a product and humans use products.
Apple has done an incredible job at ‘Humanizing’ computers. They creates products that we can all use and enjoy. I’ve watched children figure out the functions of an iPad before they were able read. These children don’t care how the touch screen works or what programming language is used to develop the apps. The technology is made invisible by great design. Most of us don’t need to know HOW things works, we just need to know that it works WELL. In Apple’s situation, they have proven time and time again that their products do indeed work and they do work well.
When people heard I was working on a project for Bitcoin, the reaction I would often get was, “Awesome!” and then, “What is a Bitcoin”. They knew it’s an interesting topic — they’ve been reading headlines with this word in it for months now— and the majority of them had a vague idea about the concept, but most hadn’t taken the time to go beyond the headlines to figure it out.
So what is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a universal currency which you can access from any web connection at any time. It’s all digital so you can pay anyone anywhere—Instantly. There is no need for a bank and therefore no banking fees.
Bitcoin has been around since 2009, but is still having trouble proving itself as anything more than a novelty for investors. Part of the problem lies in the brand’s inconsistency. If you do a Google search for the word ‘Bitcoin’, you get page after page of images of gold coins with the letter B debossed on the front. No wonder people have such a hard time understanding this concept. There is no need to visualize Bitcoin as a physical gold coin as we know them today. After all, the Bitcoin is about as much of a coin as an MP3, GIF or any other binary file.
I decided Bitcoin needed a graphic identity which represented it for what it really was: a dynamic asset constantly in flux. It’s value and location are so fluid, it makes very little sense to display it as such familiar physical object as a golden coin.
While discussing this project, people weren’t asking the right question. They asked ‘What will the new Bitcoin app look like?’ When in reality they should have been asking ‘Is there a need for another Bitcoin app?’ When I asked myself, my answer was ‘No.’ In the world of universal currency, there is no need for dedicated apps. A payment can be sent via web, E-Mail, or even text message. It doesn’t make sense to make the entire world use a dedicated mobile application to do something as simple as payment transactions which will eventually be a non-thought. The purpose of products is to make people’s lives easier, not force them to interact with a product in a way that is unnatural and counter intuitive. Imagine walking into a restaurant and as you ‘Check-in’ virtually, you’re presented with a digital menu. As you click your desired item, the payment is deducted from your account instantly. The future is fluid and so should be the way in which our transactions are made.