Established this October, Degroof Petercam is a new, independent bank in Belgium offering a “combination of private banking, institutional asset management, investment banking (corporate finance and financial intermediation), and asset services.” Employing 1,400 people in seven other European cities and in Hong Kong, Degroof Petercam is the result of a merger between Bank Degroof, an investment private bank founded in 1871 in Brussels, and Petercam, a financial group founded in 1968. The new identity for the company was designed by the Brussels office of Base.
The new identity reflects the joining of two companies with similar functions, but very different DNA and philosophies. Trading since 1871, Bank Degroof was viewed as rather conservative in comparison with the more agile and bold perception of Petercam, founded in 1968. The new identity was based on a cross-cutting ‘best of both worlds’ concept, highlighting the strengths of each bank coming together under one roof. […] Carrying forward the “best of both worlds” concept, Base created a mark for the brand inspired by a percentage sign and consisting of a harmonious blend of ‘d’ for Degroof and ‘p’ for Petercam. The design system blends traditional and contemporary references, serif and sans serif fonts and contrasting imagery to evoke the feeling of traditional and modern joining together.
The previous two logos were not bad: Bank Degroof had a nice Optima-esque wordmark with a slightly odd icon that looked like stacked coins while Petercam had a tightly spaced Gotham-ish wordmark and a “P” monogram with a gradient that could be excused. Even if not perfect, there was clearly a sense of design care in both logos. The new one manages to bring elements from both into a fantastic banking logo.
The new wordmark, an evolution from Degroof, is absolutely beautiful — anyone know what font that is? — looking elegant, contemporary, and luxurious. The new icon, an evolution from Petercam, is a lowercase “d” and “p” that also doubles as an abstract percentage symbol. It’s so good and clever it makes me jealous with envy. The combination of the two visually distinct elements is unexpected and quite satisfying. Perhaps because I like this, I am reading more into it than I should but I love how the new monogram is a perfect metaphor for a merger where the shape for the “d” and “p” is identical and hints at a merger of equals, each 50% of the new company, making a whole. Too good.
In application, things stay super classy yet modern with a black, gray, and white color palette accentuated by a minty green. I rarely get enthused with websites but Degroof Petercam’s is quite stunning with beautiful web typography, spacious layouts, and, more importantly, the sense that your money here is both in good hands and spent well on fancy design firms and good coders. Overall, one of my favorite financial identities of recent years that, beyond being pleasing to your host, establishes a very clear attitude and personality for a new bank.