monopo london was invited to create the brand identity and strategy for the new messaging platform Ghost – a supercharged messaging app founded by a former Giphy product and engineering team to make messaging more expressive. The design agency crafted a full visual identity to reflect the brand’s core belief that communicating between friends should be more honest and playful.
Ghost is a new messaging consumer app built with Web3, Chat GPT and ZK primitives. Its unique ‘Ghost Messaging’ mode allows users to send anonymous messages to private groups, encouraging safer, more honest and more playful discussions. The app makes it easy to share embarrassing or honest thoughts, and injects a level of play in the conversation with friends. The integration of Chat GPT allows users to ask and generate endless responses with their friends. Toxicity is filtered out with anonymous reporting mechanisms, and with ZK Proof technology, user data and identities are protected. In the modern realisation that the world is controlled by algorithms and invasions of privacy, Ghost aims to empower the user to help all voices be heard and own their honest convictions. Those principles were key to the brand identity created.
Brand identity artifacts
Ghost your Voice
With a primarily Gen-Z target audience, Ghost's brand identity needed to speak to a generation that is well-versed in expressing and protecting their identities and has a healthy suspicion of large digital platforms. monopo london followed suit by developing tongue-in-cheek messaging that harnesses Ghost’s playful tone of voice.
“We used playful statements such as ‘Ghost your Messages. Speak your mind.’ to appeal to a comms-savvy Gen-Z audience. The brand goes on to “Ghost” other frustrations about modern communication, and replace them with more playful alternatives.”
- Mélanie Hubert-Crozet, Creative Director of monopo London
Ghost your Guidelines
Already familiar with the Web3 environment, monopo london knew that an accessible and human brand identity was necessary to gain the attention of a younger audience. The agency eschewed familiar tech brand tropes to instead create an identity that feels owned by the community. Web3, ZK Proofs and blockchain are just tools upon which the service runs but they remain undetectable to the user.
“We wanted Ghost to feel like it is created and owned by the community that uses the app. Leaning into a colourful digital DIY aesthetic makes it feel like anybody could make a piece of Ghost communications tomorrow, just on their phone or laptop.”
- Ferdaws Alizada, Graphic Designer at monopo london
As goals for the new brand identity, playful chunky typographic statements sit alongside a bright saturated color palette with cut-out collaged visuals. The brand lends itself to endless improvisation and expansion, with the Ghost character as a constant “muse” to riff on. The identity doesn’t feel juvenile, but it sparks memories of an inner child discovery equal to cutting out mood boards or pinning your favorite poster to your bedroom walls. It is an accessible feeling that excites and ignites all of us, and an important barrier that many Web3 brands fail to break through.
“Everyone can discover their own way of using Ghost. We are incredibly inspired by the many different applications that users find within the app and we love that the branding system represents this sense of play and experimentation.” - Cem Kozinoglu, founder of Ghost
Ghost your Website
Supporting the launch, monopo london designed Ghost’s ‘Coming Soon’ page to introduce the playful ethos of the brand. Filled with interactions and animations, the website is a digital sample of what it feels like to enter the realm of Ghost. A full interactable website will launch in early Summer of 2023.
“Web3 technologies can be intimidating for new users, so we made sure to create an interactive web experience where people can connect with the playful spirit of the app, even before downloading it.”
- Stella Grotti, Interactive Art Director at monopo london
Make no mistake however - Ghost might be playful but it is built on carefully-considered technologies that ensure privacy and security.
monopo was founded in Tokyo by Yoshiyuki Sasaki (CEO) and Shun Okada (COO), in 2011. Originally a digital design agency, monopo quickly grew into a full-service, design-driven creative agency offering digital experiences, branding, advertising and film content, from conception to production. Today, monopo counts 30 people in Tokyo, 8 people in London, 2 people in New York and 2 people in Saigon.
monopo set up its London office in March 2019 under the direction of Mélanie Hubert-Crozet (Creative Director) and Mattijs Devroedt (Managing Director). Clients include Canada Goose, onefinestay, Yamaha music, Shiseido and Yonex.
- Ghost Founder: Cem Kozinoglu
- Creative & Art director: Mélanie Hubert-Crozet
- Strategic director: Mattijs Devroedt
- Producer: Maud Dedecker
- Lead graphic designer: Ferdaws Alizada
- Interactive art Director and Digital Design: Stella Grotti
- Illustrator: Jorie Einarsen
- Digital Developer: Karl Justiniano
- Copywriter: Felicity Aspden
- Sound designer: Justin Frieden
- Motion designer: Christian Rubio