Banking and Finance
It’s 2020, and the world feels in turmoil. If there’s a time to stand for change, it’s now.
How do you signal real and meaningful change?
Identity design, Environmental design
The Commonwealth Bank is one of Australia’s best-known brands. Every Australian recognises the iconic black and yellow diamond, originally created by Ken Cato in 1991.
But a lot has changed since the nineties. The world has been through the global financial crisis, and had its faith in institutions shaken. The bank has faced challenges to its corporate reputation. Australians have weathered devastating bushfires and a global pandemic.
It was time for CommBank to present a new type of bank to Australians, embracing genuine change and adopting a more open and humble tone to communicate. Then in late 2020 for the first time in almost three decades, the Bank unveiled an evolved identity.
A symbol of positivity
As one of the Bank’s most powerful brand assets, the diamond has stood the test of time admirably. However, research indicated that it was starting to feel dated and representative of a more authoritarian, institutional past.
Our goal was to breathe new life into the diamond by making it lighter, brighter and more dynamic, without diminishing its gravitas. The solution was to treat it as a built object to imbue a sense of strength and stability. The new diamond is one piece, rather than two separate flats. Depth has been brought into the wedge and the left side treated as the light source, lit from within, so it casts a natural shadow.
In application, the mark is freer, behaving less like a traditional sign-off and more like a beacon that guides the way forward. It has become a symbol of positivity for the future, one that represents a new type of leadership.
“With the work we are doing to reinvent the organisation around a new strategy and values, now is the right time to refresh the iconic diamond, making it lighter, brighter and more dynamic, and inject new meaning into the Can platform.
Monique Macleod – Chief Marketing Officer, Commonwealth Bank
Simplicity in design
The design system is inspired by the diamond. Simple shapes and strokes direct the eye and bring a sense of motion. Nothing is there for the sake of it, but rather used where it will have an impact. A lighter and more energetic system is complemented by a brighter colour palette that sits alongside the existing yellow and black.
Refreshed product suite
The key design principle of simplicity carries through to new products. The Neo card was a chance to hero the new brighter Yellow to signal a refreshed credit offering from the Bank. As CommBank’s first buy now, pay later product, StepPay re-imagines the brand’s graphic shapes in the digital space, utilising soft gradients to create depth.
The new system translates naturally into environmental design. Physical light is used to brighten and direct the eye, whilst tonal greys and timber bring a sense of warmth.
The refreshed brand is ready to take CommBank forward, as it pursues new partnerships, new products and new ways to play a meaningful role in the lives of Australians.