Hi Martin!  Thanks for agreeing to do an interview with us.  Would you mind beginning by introducing yourself and telling us how you found Elastos?  What attracted you to get so involved in the Cyber Republic?

My name is Martin from the South of England where there are fields, rolling hills, and rain. Whenever I’m not working, I’m getting dirty on my mountain bike, breathing in fresh country air.

I’d call myself a multidisciplinary designer. I love to be creative, from traditional mediums such as paper and oils to digital communication and user experience and interface design.

Social-driven interactions and interface design is my newest focus, and I will work on anything that keeps my creative mind ticking.  As my background is from Retail Clothing Management and Visual Merchandising, T-shirt design was a good first step into the design world.

I started my journey into Elastos in March 2018. I’ve always known about cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, and I nearly bought it years ago when I traded FX as a retail trader.

I became interested again with the ICO and bitcoin boom and my research lead me to Elastos. I loved the tech but the old website had me worried that it wasn’t a serious project. After more research through Q2 of 2018, it became my favorite project; I wanted to get involved.

I was one of the winners of the early video contest, coming second with a (looking back) very rough whiteboard style animation.  It was my first time creating something like that, so it was a bit out of my comfort zone.

When the Cyber Republic was released, I thought it was a great opportunity to get in at the start and to help as much as I could.  I came because of the technology and what we stand for. The team, the community, and the opportunity to make a difference keeps me here.

Your content has been featured a number of times in the CR Weekly Updates, but aside from shirt designs, how have you participated in the Cyber Republic so far? What are you working on?

I have a few side-hustles to keep engagement high within the community which is nothing to do with any official paid work from Elastos or Cyber Republic. My tee merchandise design was one of them. I also post new motion graphic logos and banners on social media every few weeks to inspire and create awareness.

On the official side, I joined the design group with a bunch of other designers to help the core team when needed: graphic assets, concepts and feedback, pretty much any support I can give.

One of my main projects is a new video in the style similar to the one I did before; I’m completing it as we speak and it should be ready by the end of January.

I’m also trying to keep communication going within the Design CRcle–leading by doing. Hopefully it gets people inspired to get involved. Communication is important so I’m hoping we can keep improving and talk more between CRcles to improve task completion.

I’ve also been working on the Elastos Rack Card and One Pager Tasks. I’ve completely revamped the Cyber Republic YouTube Channel with new thumbnails, which is still not 100% complete, but I’m keeping an eye on it and creating any thumbnails that we need.

Once my video is done, I have plans to make more videos to create a mini series–but we’ll see what priorities and tasks pop up in the new year.

Ideally, I’d like to work on some UI/UX stuff for apps and continue leading the Design CRcle.  I have a few interesting ideas for apps; I may ask the community to see if anyone wants to work on a bigger project with me.

As a designer, what do you think of the current website and logo of both Elastos and the Cyber Republic?  What insights could you provide on the decisions that were made?

Geometric shapes and simplicity in user experience/interface are big trends at the moment. We have that covered on both sites. Yes… The sites still need tweaking.  But a lot is being done to improve them. Cyber Republic brand colours I have always loved, and the Elastos brand colours I’d like to see increased vibrance a bit. As a designer, I have my own ideas and tweaks, but thats why I like the Cyber Republic; as a community we can give feedback and there is plenty of talent to help if needed.

The rebrand of the Elastos logo was very much needed, though.  I never want to see the old colours of the old Elastos logo ever again.

There are many websites in the crypto and blockchain space with similar designs. Elastos and the Cyber Republic stand out with the clean font styles and minimal, but high impact, asset designs.

Otherwise, other aspects to the design are simply not completed. The core team members ask for feedback from the community designers and then they decide on solutions after careful thought. I’ve been asked for feedback multiple times on the Elastos website, from the navigation and menu, to what will happen and what we can do when we have to populate the site with more content. Just because you don’t hear things doesn’t mean they aren’t being thought about or worked on. If people want to get more involved, that’s what the Cyber Republic is for.  Individuals can showcase what they can do by taking initiative.

Oh the team page on the Elastos website is coming! The team can’t communicate on everything, and I know the community wants as much information as possible–but sometimes it just doesn’t work like that. Things take time; things need to be planned and worked on. Everyone (and I mean everyone) I have dealt with has worked so hard and has so much passion for Elastos.

You’re very focused on brand image–why is this important to you from your perspective?  What would you like to see with the Cyber Republic’s brand image? How do you envision it evolving in the public eye?

They say it’s not the business that creates the brand image but the customer. We create the image and the feel, but the identity is created in the customer’s head. Brand image gives us personality, consistency, differentiation, and awareness. All these things will create the identity in the end-user’s head.

The main thing we can do now is build upon what we have created. There are many things we can do to strengthen our brand, and not only the Design CRcle, but every CRcle can bring new ideas to the table. Communication and working together is the key.

You’ve started a number of teams, joined CRcles, and led design initiatives. Could you tell us a little about your projects for the Cyber Republic and what’s coming out?  What are you trying to achieve with these initiatives?

I want to keep communication going above anything else. This is going to be so important going forward.  We are at the very beginning.

The main reason I created the Design CRcle Idea Generation Team was to keep communication going between me and anyone that really wants to show initiative! I want us to pump out ideas and tasks so people get inspired. The Cyber Republic website will be getting some interesting updates over the course of the next year which will make things a lot easier to feel like one community.

Lastly, what’s next on your plate?  Like, literally. What are you eating for your next meal?

Right this second, as I’m writing this, I’m having one of my favourite liquid lunches: Hazelnut Latte! This injects me with enough calories and caffeine to see me through half the day, with a steak and chips night for the other half!

The more on my plate, the better! I’m a quick eater but I’m always thirsty for more… There’s an analogy in there somewhere for how I like to work compared to how I eat.

Thanks for your time, Martin!  Sounds like we share similar meal plans.

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