The power and meaning behind bank logos

bank city skyline

Banking is serious business. When you’re dealing with other people’s money, you need to show professionalism, trustworthiness, and commitment. So a bank’s logo should show, at a glance, that this is a trustworthy company. For these reasons, it’s extremely important for banks to have a well-designed identity.

Many bank logos(opens in a new tab or window) have similar visual elements, such as patriotic icons and colors. Yes, it’s a challenge to create original logos(opens in a new tab or window) for companies offering similar services in a world where designers are finding inspiration in the same places. But these common themes are also proven performers.

Banks build trust through familiarity. We see banking identities on retail branch signs on every street corner, TV commercials, bumper stickers(opens in a new tab or window), even on our pens. By using a logo as their main marketing tool, banks possess the power to make you want to bank with them.

You’re probably familiar with the logos listed in this post. But what you might not know is the hidden meaning that they convey.

Citibank, designed by Paula Scher

The Citibank logo offers security. By incorporating an arc over the lowercase ‘t’ in Citibank, they’ve created a strong and powerful red umbrella sheltering and taking care of its trustworthy patrons.

SunTrust, designed by siegel+gale

Siegel+gale explain that “the new logo is a beacon that reflects the warmth, energy, and diverse range of the SunTrust organization”. The use of warm colors express the feeling of internal warmth for the SunTrust brand and its local, tight-knit community.

Chase Manhattan Bank, designed by Chermayeff & Geismar

Chase Manhattan Bank has merged with J.P. Morgan, yet its original abstract symbol still remains the same. By using the same shape over and over again, this logo reinforces trust. The repetitive symbol establishes a sense of familiarity which makes us feel comfortable trusting them with our money.

Bank of New Zealand, designed by DNA Design Auckland

Through the use of the color blue, this logo represents confidence, trust, and loyalty. The typeface Serrano, which was designed specifically for Bank of New Zealand, has a very friendly italicized font which is used in their logo. Modern, friendly, and trustworthy—everything you look for in a bank.

Bank of America, designed by Lippincott

Behold the power of 3! The best things in life come in 3s, so they say. The repetition of the double-lined pattern shows reinforcement and familiarity. The bright red and blue also draw us in by showing strength, power, trust & excitement. The icon used in this logo is meant to represent the USA flag, which shows patriotism.

These are just a few of the bank logos used today that incorporate a similar approach to design. The beautiful thing about these logos is the way they communicate with an audience and convey different feelings and meanings.

A logo with no meaning behind it is simply nothing more than good design.

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