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Evolution of the triskelion-based Ripple logo

ripple logo wall

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One of my favorite podcasts is 99% Invisible. Design matters and most good design is 99% invisible. I often look at logos and wonder about the design backstory. For instance, who in their right mind created the angry man logo for Genki Sushi?

What’s the backstory for the Ripple logo? All I see is an uninspiring fidget spinner. I was surprised that the Ripple team took the time to blog about their logo and the logo redesign back in 2015. Here is what they shared about the logo redesign:

The Ripple logo was originally designed to represent the connected and distributed nature of our solutions. Our logo redesign added some life and color to the logo and helped with legibility and balance. By keeping the original intent of the logo intact, we retained our brand equity while creating a mark that is more functional and timeless.

Spiral triskele
Spiral triskelion found in Celtic artwork

The icon in the Ripple logo is called a triskelion. I’ve never heard this term before. According to Wikipedia, a triskelion or triskele is a motif consisting of a triple spiral exhibiting rotational symmetry. The spiral design can be based on interlocking Archimedean spirals, or represent three bent human legs.

This spiral design dates back to the stone age. Archaeologists found triskelion symbols that make up an astronomical calendar carved in stone around 3200 BC.

Ripple’s original logo looks pretty similar to what they use today. The refreshed logo used a new font which is easier to read at small sizes and a new gradient scheme that directs viewers towards the words ripple. They also improved the balance between the word mark and the triskelion. The following animation shows the evolution of the original logo to the current version.

Ripple Evolution Animation

They even documented how they created the triskelion.

Ripple Triskelion

While it may seem like way too much information, I am stoked to have shed that silly fidget spinner logo from my head and now see an ancient, meaning-drenched shape. I hope the Ripple community also starts to see this logo in the same light. It’s a powerful symbol used for thousands of years. May it now be used to symbolize international money transfers!

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