Alternative marketing thinking

iCONTRACT

If Banks Go, Do Logos Stay?

That’s the big question we’re asking the banks whose logos are defunct because of them being bought out or being nationalized. A post on Creative Review tracks how bank logos change over time. Ever since the early 90s, banks have been attempting to project a friendlier, less formal image. Heraldic devices and serif type were steadily ditched in favour of rounded edges and updated typography. Everything became shinier, more colourful, less forbidding. It was all about innovation and modernity as banks started to project themselves as dynamic global brands, reflecting a shift in their management style and business aims – the upshot of which we are now experiencing. Of course, all that the logo designers explained that the logos signified has now fallen flat. For example, Landor’s now defunct logo for Morgan Stanley (designed in 2001) had “the directional triangle… pointed toward growth and financial success”. “The firm needed to shift its image and be seen as more modern and innovative,” Landor explained. Unfortunately, this spirit of “innovation” is now more typically characterised as reckless risk-taking. Coming back to today, dynamism, innovation, modernity – these aren’t messages that people really want to hear or believe from banks at the moment. So what should the banks go back to now?

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