Financial Logos: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

07 Oct Financial Logos: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

All of us have encountered a logo that displayed the immediate impression of reliability, transparency and quality.  This logo may have been ornate in design or it may have been accompanied by a catch phrase or quotation.  Either way, a powerful logo reflects the branding and the mission statement of a company.  In the competitive and often times daunting world of finance, this mantra is even more true.  So, what are some general guidelines that should be embraced when branding (or re-branding) the appearing of a financial firm?

Simplicity

The first metric to espouse is to remember that people tend to more easily remember simple things.  This is not to say that the average individual is slow or myopic, but only that logos are a very visual statement.  Therefore, adhere to a simple and yet striking design.  In fact, some of the most memorable logos in the world are not even words: think of the Nike “swoosh” or the classical curves of General Electric’s “GE”.  While this may not always be the case (imagine the branding that Unilever employs), recall that a company which appears straightforward will be exceedingly attractive in the financial industry.

Colour or No Colour?

While it is great to embellish a design with colour, too much can overwhelm the intention of the product itself.  Colour can either highlight what a company stands for or instead, it can allow a logo to appear overwhelming and even obtrusive.  Furthermore, different industries will naturally choose different colours.  For example, an agricultural logo will most likely adopt browns, greens and oranges.  Blue and white may be ideal for an aviation firm.  In the financial industry, dark greens, white and black are predominant.  These shades are often associated with wealth, straightforwardness and a “can-do” attitude.

Font and Lettering

The font and size of the text will likewise contribute to the innate “feel” of the product.  Some financial firms may choose to utilise such classical designs as Courier New or Arial while others will display text with a more cursive, natural feel.  This is entirely up to the design team and the emotion that they wish to convey to the public.  Bold, stark texts will highlight a sensation of solidarity and professionalism while cursive lends a softness and a more client-centred approach.  Thankfully, the choice of fonts and styles is nearly limitless in today’s modern age.

These three metrics are not to be used separately but rather should be integrated into a flowing platform that will express the synergy of thought and design.  An appealing logo and branding can indeed be the defining difference between a memorable company and one that will find itself amongst the flotsam and jetsam of anonymity.  Still, never forget that the flexibility allowed will accommodate nearly any desire and if the logo is chosen wisely, the end result can be continued success in the ever-evolving world of finance.