Finance companies typically seek to portray the core values of trustworthiness, strength and maturity.
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A lion head logo must be the only way to represent these values, right?
Not quite. Being in the numbers business doesn’t mean that you can get away with a run-of-the-mill logo. There are many creative ways to do justice to your values and mission as an organization in an authentic, personal way.
And according to a recent survey that we at 99designs by Vista conducted, the majority of small business leaders in financial services across North America, the UK, Australia and New Zealand agree that visual branding will be worth the investment. In that survey 84% said that it has a significant impact on their overall success, with 77% reporting it contributes to revenue growth1.
Your clients, even if only subconsciously, do expect certain traits from your company before they can hand over a core part of their financial lives. This is likely why 83% of small businesses in the industry feel branding is vital for attracting new customers and 87% say it plays a big role in building customer trust.
To get you well on your way to the best design for you, here are some banking and accounting logos that strikingly represent what a financial company stands for.
1. The “conservative” animal emblem
Animal imagery, such as bulls and lions, typically conveys strength, courage and bullishness (yep, that pun was necessary). It is no wonder then why they are so popular with the companies that handle your money, who want to give the impression of being built on a sturdy foundation.
Although using animals is relatively more expected and therefore more risky of fading into the background, a good design can render this type of logo memorable and creative. The logos below accomplish this through bold and contrasting colors, playing with geometric shapes or incorporating the image into the typeface.
2. Typography based banking logos
Do you want your logo to tell your clients to say that you’re a reliable, straightforward, transparent brand? Perhaps all you need is a great typeface—just ask Lloyd’s of London. The result tends to be, while not especially ground-breaking, clean-cut and strong. Also, what better way to have your clients remember your company’s name when the name alone is your logo?
The choice of typeface is key to the kind of image you’ll project: a bold and well-recognized font can speak to your experience and tradition; a modern font can speak to a more tech-enabled banking experience; a softer one can speak to your human side and dedication to customer service. Just don’t use serif, and you’re in the clear.
3. A literal interpretation
Being a memorable brand in a sea of barely-distinguishable finance institutions can be challenging. To strengthen the message and values that your company’s name is already portraying, you can have your logo stand as a visual representation of that name.
If your company’s name lends itself well to this (typically if it alludes to a physical object), this can be a subtle and creative way to have your company name remembered. Moreover, it can be a great way to double down on an unique or quirky element of your brand.
4. Geometry is beauty
Clean, geometric shapes create an impression of tech-friendliness and modernity. This can appeal to a millennial audience who values a technology-enabled service more highly than generations past. With mobile finance on the rise and brick-and-mortar banks becoming a thing of the past, it may be wise to choose a logo that reflects your pioneering spirit.
5. Vintage-style finance logos
A vintage or historic look carries the message: we’ve been around a while, so you can trust us. Perfect for companies that handle money! As more companies go for the techie look, an old-school logo may set you aside and establish a feeling of trustworthiness and tradition.
6. Blue is not the warmest color
Another popular (some might say overused) staple of the financial services industry is the color blue. It’s not surprising because color theory teaches us that blue inspires seriousness, maturity and trustworthiness—prototypical qualities for companies dealing with money.
While blue is a safe choice, it’s definitely not the only choice, especially if innovation is a core part of your company values. If, for instance, you’re looking to reinvent how banking is done, make your logo speak that loud and clear. Going for bolder colors can be a great way to do that, and while you’re at it, how about the whole rainbow?
7. Have some fun with it
Just the term ‘financial services’ can be intimidating to many people, especially right-brained ones. Perhaps you’re one of the heroes who’s trying to change that and make banking or accounting approachable, human and fun for your users. If so, a quirky mascot will be sure to win over even the most skeptical members of your target audience.
Adding it all up
The bottom line is: you have options for your banking or finance logo! A mark that is both well-designed and true to your values can go a long way in strengthening your unique message. If your company is all about disrupting the financial landscape, then say that with an overt, creative and bold logo. And if you want to do things by the book (accounting pun intended), you can still have a memorable logo that reflects your more traditional values.
So use design to your advantage: it is likely what most of your left-brained competitors aren’t considering, and what may just make you stand out. Give creativity a fair shot and you’ll end up with a logo that is as personal, strong, quirky and innovative as your company.
1. Data collected via online research firm Corus in June 2022 from 350 decision makers from small businesses with no more than 100 employees in the financial services industry across North America, the UK, Australia and New Zealand” href=”#ref1″>↩
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This article was originally published in 2017. It has been updated with new examples and information.