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Brother, can you Spare a Square?

Reviewed Mar. 12, 2010 by Armin

Industry / Finance Tags /

Lending Club Logo, Before and After

The process of asking for a loan from a bank sucks. Simple as that. Short of a cavity search, they want to know everything about you and then they will hit you with an interest rate higher than your cholesterol level. Add to that the economic slump of the last two years and getting a loan was harder than spotting a yeti. These circumstances might help explain the burgeoning practice of peer-to-peer lending and at the forefront is Lending Club, which has funded $93,634,075 in loans and $6,487,621 in paid interest to investors since its inception in 2007. The premise is simple, Lending Club brings “together investors and creditworthy borrowers eliminating the high-cost and complexity of traditional banks. This allows people to invest in and borrow from each other in a way that is financially sound and rewarding for both parties. Lending Club offers borrowers better rates and investors higher returns.” A short three years after launch and ready to shed its start-up label, Lending Club has adopted a new logo created in collaboration with Mule.

The first 2 – 3 years of any start-up contribute to fine-tuning its messaging and value proposition. Lending Club is about transparency, trustworthiness, simplicity, and better rates/returns. Our new identity and web site better reflect these values.
The beauty of this logo is, first, its simplicity and typography make you feel safe, but then you’ll find yourself wanting to interpret the logo. Every customer thinks of it differently, and I’ve heard at least 15 different interpretations, but the one I hear the most is when people see themselves as the missing square.”
— Rob Garcia, Lending Club’s Sr Director of Product Strategy

Lending Club Logo, Detail

The old wordmark was pretty sub par, even for start-up standards. Everything from the color choices to the typeface made the company look small and unreliable. The new logo is a vast improvement both in concept and execution. When I first saw the logo I couldn’t help but let a genuine smirk escape from my face. It’s not a highbrow concept by any extent, but rather a simple idea executed, well, simply. The little red square jumping from the corral of other squares into the “i” can indeed carry many meanings, whether it is the square being lent to the “i” or as mentioned above, the square of the “i” as in “I/me” being the missing component to make something work. The typography is straightforward Helvetica, which is fine but, in unison with the heavy blue, gives it a slight air of 1960s banking corporate identity — a fine relationship to establish Lending Club as a trusted source, but a far cry in making it look contemporary and groundbreaking. Nonetheless, this is an excellent and welcome evolution.

Thanks to Judith for the tip.



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