It seems like ICOs have seized the digital world, there are so many of them that virtually nobody can tell the difference between them all. To stand out, ICOs attempt to develop strategies, attract the relevant audience and market their ideas. There’s no one right way to success, each effort is worthless in such a competitive environment. One of the core elements of an effective strategy is creating a decent ICO white paper. In this article, we are going to shed light on what makes an outstanding white paper and review some ICO white paper examples that may inspire you in terms of design and structure.
The first thing to have in mind is that a white paper is neither an essay nor a scientific work. It’s more like a business plan that should comply with a number of criteria.
So a logical question emerges: what factors affect a quality ICO whitepaper for new cryptocurrency? We’d single out the following:
- Clear from the very first words
- Features a good story-telling style
- Proven innovation
- Market situation described
- Competitive advantages
- Relevant to the project’s potential
- Relevant to the market scale
- Does not make groundless assumptions
- General description of business processes
- Token functions are stated in detail
- The value of the token is evident
VALUE OF CRYPTOASSETS
- For the project’s audience
- For contributors
- Structured and integral product
- Finished quality document
- Unleashing and selling the idea
The separate point is DESIGN. A lot has been said about ICO white paper structure and content but few remember the importance of design, marketing, and website development. We have already proven the importance of ICO website design in our recent article, so it’s time to tell you how to design a white paper for an ICO and why it matters.
How to design an ICO white paper
Effective white paper design should enhance the idea of the ICO instead of drawing attention to itself. Let’s see how to make a successful ICO white paper step by step.
Choose the right tool
If you look at the 90% of ICO white papers, you’ll see that they are created in Word or PowerPoint software. We can’t deny that content is a critical decision-making component but the first impression is made by looking through the white paper, paying attention to its visual style, media, and graphics.
While Word will remain the most popular tool for young crypto enthusiasts, thoughtful start-up founders might stand out by hiring an expert who uses InDesign to design a white paper for ICO – a professional design tool that will add to the credibility of the white paper and make it more eye-catching. Even beginners may find some decent templates within the tool and experiment with forms, colors, and fonts.
Elaborate on the structure
The structure of a white paper design depends on the content, we suggest you pay special attention to the following elements:
Cover is the first thing people see after clicking on the “white paper” tab. Even if you want to save money on design (which is a short-sighted approach, we can’t stress this enough), try at least to present a cover that grabs users’ attention. It should take after your corporate style, if any, and have a logo with a description of an ICO.
The table of contents
It gives an overview of what’s going to be next. Highlight the main sections, use consistent fonts that are maintained across the whole document and make it clickable. Mind also the page number and footnote style, these small details enhance the UX and may impede the overall picture if they are poorly designed or omitted.
Graphic elements are another point of attention for an ICO white paper designer. They should be matched by style with fonts and colors, so don’t rely on standard stock images and icons, as they may be perceived as out of place in the context of a business plan UI.
Let’s take an example: the most popular media in a white paper are photos. Normally business owners publish photos of the team to increase trust and introduce themselves to potential contributors; good quality and a consistent style are both important. If you don’t have the opportunity for a corporate photo shoot, you can process the photos so they look alike. For example, ask the team for official-looking photos and make them black and white.
Corporate template and company identity (if any)
At the top of all the design elements lies the visual style and identity. Some start-ups have already developed a corporate brand book that they expect all website designers to follow. However, they’re not always ideal for a white paper, as a very bold and explicit style may influence the perception of your business idea. For example, if you have an ICO backed by an adult store, try to steer clear from a provocative white paper design, as it might seem irrelevant in terms of an ICO campaign.
Add more white space
Nevertheless, in some cases designers are too serious about white papers, so they just put text into pages as it is. Small margins, minimal white spaces, and endless text sheets without graphics are likely to make your readers bounce.
Enhance with colors
Sometimes the ideas go beyond the corporate style colors, so you can create your own color palettes within a white paper using a color wheel; try Adobe color CC tools and the tips from our recent article. Use bright color accents to enhance a hierarchy of information and highlight the essentials.
Media to add to your ICO whitepaper:
We touched on the media elements earlier, but there’s a lot more to be said, so here’s a list of other features to enhance the ICO white paper:
Graphs and charts
Flipping through the pages of a white paper, people tend to stop at graphics and charts. Effective ideas also include infographics to summarize the main points, as well as pictograms, or even maps for geographical information.
Most white papers are no longer “papers,” people read them in color on the screen of their computer or smartphone, so in some cases, video might be reasonable when designing ICO white paper.
Symbols and icons
Icons, symbols, and color boxes help you to illustrate your ideas and direct readers to the key parts of the text.
High-quality photos with an overview of the entire team or product backed by the token sale will add to trustworthiness and reliability.
10 Best ICO White Paper Examples in Terms of Structure & Design
So, how are these practices implemented in real white papers? We picked up a collection of 10 smartly-designed ICO white paper examples and highlighted the ideas that make them special.
Ideas: Dilute, business-like colors and lots of white space. The plus point is custom medical graphics that enhances readers’ comprehension - if you want something like this, check out the set of healthcare icons from Agente which you can download for free.
Ideas: A futuristic style that resonates with the ICO’s ideas of revolution and innovation.
Ideas: Unusual background, well-elaborated structure, unique graphs and charts.
Ideas: Trendy colors, flow charts and graphs, consistent style across the document.
Ideas: Custom icons, sharp message, color consistency.
Ideas: Design and media relevant to the gaming industry.
Ideas: Plenty of graphs and tables, colorful pictures.
Ideas: Tailor-made infographics; cold, business-like color palette.
Ideas: Informative cover, quality photos, expert quotes.
Ideas: Classic fonts, colorful charts, eye-catching cover.
As you can see, content is not the only factor of a white paper’s success, you really need to elaborate on the design of your pages, adding elements that grab people’s attention and reflecting your brand in the way that you want present it to potential contributors. Only when you accomplish this will you stand out from the competition as something remarkable. But always remember: even a perfect white paper won’t help a bad project.
Agente will help you with the design of your ICO website and white paper design creation. Check our recent ICO website and whitepaper design project. Press the ‘let’s talk’ button in the top right corner to share ideas and brainstorm the design that fits you best.