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This is a very old entry — images are small, formatting is off.


Goodbye, Beautiful; Hello, Weird Name

Reviewed Oct. 25, 2007 by John Feldhouse

Industry / Finance Tags /

Bank of New York Mellon, New

It is a sad day in the world of identity design: A day in which we say goodbye to the beautiful, and now defunct, Bank of New York logo and usher in the new Bank of New York Mellon logo. On July 2, 2007, Mellon Bank offically merged with The Bank of New York and on October 1, 2007, the Bank of New York Mellon launched its global brand program — one all the more challenging as both banks have storied histories that include great identities with great legacy.

Briefly on the two banks: Founded in 1784 by Alexander Hamilton, The Bank of New York is the oldest bank in America; more here. Mellon Financial Corporation, based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was founded in 1869 by Thomas Mellon and his sons; and more here.


Pre-2005 Bank of New York logo and previous Mellon Bank (Don Ervin, Siegel & Gale, 1981) logo.

It wasn’t even two years ago that The Bank of New York updated its logo in 2005 by (then named) Lippincott Mercer. The “Jewel Box” logo as it became known was one of my all-time favorites (second only to the old Northwest Airlines logo) and I think it is a shame it will be gone. But, the new logo, redesigned by Lippincott (sans Mercer now), is a nice update. From an identity point of view, the logic behind the logo is sound:

Our brand reflects our global leadership, supports our common values and highlights our uncommon strengths. It is built upon three pillars - the expertise of our people, the collaborative partnerships we forge with our clients and the performance we deliver. It is a brand that sets us apart in the industry and propels our new company forward.
— Robert P. Kelly, chief executive officer of The Bank of New York Mellon

I like when companies actually back up their statements visually, instead of spouting out a bunch of designer speak. The forward pointing arrow along with the three “pillars” is a nice representation of the company. One aspect I really enjoy about this mark is the color palette. To choose colors that are not normally used for financial institutions takes a lot of guts. The new color scheme is sophisticated and powerful. Likewise, the typography is beautifully typeset in Scala and has an appropriateness to it that makes sense. My only hesitance is about the naming: I understand this is purely a business choice and not a design choice, but the name starts to sound cluttered, and “Mellon” is too funny a word. I am excited about seeing the application of the logo and will be very curious to see the signage. Make sure to check out the new website, housing lots of abstract pictures and a clean design.

For more information, please read the press release [PDF].



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