Regrets Only’s identity for Variant echoes the fund’s flexible framework with a variable grid system
Variant is an early-stage fund founded on a simple idea: the networks that define the next generation of the internet will turn users into owners. Aiming to define the leading edge in Web3, the venture fund is helping foster community around founders and their ideas. By working with them at the earliest possible stage, Variant is a connector of the dots, cultivating communities around these visionaries. When Boston-based creative studio Regrets Only began building its brand identity, Principal Caleb Halter tells us, “we saw a parallel between that and their portfolio’s focus on Web3. The blue is inspired by default hyperlink styling and is a nod to both the aesthetics and base functionality of the early web.”
The team developed a visual language that echoes the space the fund creates; a flexible framework for diverse thinking, characterised by a mix of both illustrated glyphs and hand-made patterns within a variable grid system. “Because the glyphs are meant to represent the people that make up the Variant team and community – and, by extension, be totally unique one to the next – we saw an opportunity to turn their creation over to Variant as something the team could use to generate and personalise themselves,” Halter explains. “So we reverse-engineered our design into a set of input parameters using p5.js, which became a simple tool we surprised the team with. It’s been fun to see what everyone makes and to watch the library expand with every new team member.”
Following Variant Co-founder Li Jin’s suggestion, the design team developed “a more expressionistic element to help humanise the identity,” with the inclusion of hand-made patterns. “Developing those patterns was essentially a few arts and crafts days,” Halter reveals. “We used crayons, Krink pens, pastels, finger paint, charcoal – everything you ever wanted going through an art store as a kid. We tend to get really heady really quickly, so it was refreshing to get away from the screen, make a mess and play with all the different mediums.” Representing the more creative side to the venture, both the process and the outcome of the patterns were “the exact opposite” of the glyphs – “one is hyper-technical, the other innately intuitive.”
For the typography, Halter adds, “we wanted something to help tie it all together but has just enough personality of its own.” The squared and curved edges of PX Grotesk were an ideal fit, as it connects to the variable aesthetics of the system without competing with it.