BBCN Bank Logo, Before and After

Founded in 1989 and 1986 respectively, Nara Bank and Center Bank have provided financial services to the Korean-American community across the United States. This past November they announced a merger to create BBCN Bank, creating the largest financial institution for this community in the country, with 44 full-service branches in California, New York, New Jersey, Washington and Illinois. I couldn’t find out who designed the logo, nor are there any explanations of what it means but, for some reason, I thought it was an interesting logo to point out.


Sample Korean alphabets.


Sample traditional colors.


Other than the sideways shape of a butt in the Center Bank logo there was nothing remarkable, for better or worse, in the two old logos. The new logo seems simple and boring at first glance — and even at second glance — but the jarring primary colors and Mondrian-esque aesthetic certainly make it stand out in the banking industry. That it reflects common visual structures and colors from Korean culture, as our Korean tipster explains, makes it quite relevant. The more interesting aspect of the logo is that it can be expanded and pulled and it generates a completely different feeling, with the good kind of graphic tension. I would love to see how this is applied across print materials and branches, as it seems to have some potential. For the time being, this is what we have, and it looks oddly interesting.

Oh, and, yes, the type is Gotham.



A couple of headers from the website, showing the expanded icon.

Thanks to Jane Moon for the tip and the Korean images.

filed under Finance and tagged with , , , ,

Reviewed January 10, 201201.10.12 by Armin

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