Scotiabank adds much more than a touch of colour

Scotiabank is rolling out a “refreshed” visual brand identity that includes a new logo and wordmark, as well as a customized font and a much greater use of colour.

The bank has long been associated with red, but while it will remain at the core of the brand, it will be complemented by more colours across its branding.

The old…

“As an organization we identified a need to refresh the bank’s visual design system to make it more digital and screen friendly, with the goal of presenting our customers with a consistent and accessible experience,” Clinton Braganza, chief marketing officer, told The Message. “Our refreshed visual identity includes a refined “Flying S”, a Scotia font, a more modern, confident and legible wordmark and an exciting approach to colour, photography and illustrations,” said Braganza, who took over the CMO role from John Doig late last year.

The new visual identity was developed by OneMethod (sister agency of Scotiabank long-time creative AOR Bensimon Byrne). The bank has used colour in its copy for more than a decade, although red has dominated the other design elements. But now Scotiabank is flipping the script—using much more colour in various design elements while retaining red at the core of the brand. “We were excited to take on the opportunity to refresh such an iconic brand visual system for the needs of today and tomorrow, and to roll it out globally,” said Amin Todai OneMethod, chief creative officer and partner. “And while it may feel like a bold move for a big bank, going all-in on colour for this brand at this time was such a natural step forward.”

… and the new.

“We’ve used colour in our typography for many years, and know that colour brings a lot of energy and joy to the brand,” said Pamela Hilborn, SVP, global head of design, digital banking. “So rather than lose something we and our customers love, we decided to evolve the way we use it.”

The changes are driven in part by the continued transition of consumer activity into digital channels, said Hillborn. The new Scotia font, for example, was designed specifically for digital, with all characters readable and legible on all screens at all scales.

“Inclusive design and digital accessibility principles were key drivers that helped guide us as we designed the new system,” she said. “Allowing designers to have a wide choice of colours to choose from means our designs can be more relevant and contextual, based on what the customer is doing.”

The new colour palette and design elements are not meant to be a “rigid style guide,” but give more power to its user experience designers to “employ colour, photography, illustration or iconography as required to create the best possible digital experience,” said Hillborn. “We look at the new design system as a toolkit that will enable great employees to create great experiences.”

David Brown