Established in 1923 (originally as Twin City Building and Loan Association), TCF is a national bank holding company based in Wayzata, MN. Its flagship service is TCF Bank, with 379 branches in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, providing retail and commercial banking services. Additionally, TCF offers commercial leasing, equipment finance, auto finance, and commercial inventory finance business in all 50 states. Last month, TCF introduced a new identity designed by Minneapolis, MN-based Periscope.
We knew we needed more than just a new brand identity — we needed a brand platform that would leverage the strengths of all eight TCF business lines and bring everything together as one.
“In rhythm with your_________” is the new strategy-built brand platform that provides endless messaging flexibility to be extremely relevant to all TCF customers — wherever they live, whatever they need and whenever they connect with TCF. We set the tone for the entire TCF rebrand with the new TCF Bank integrated campaign using contemporary design, iconic music and beautiful storytelling.
The previous logo was an ode to swooshes with two of them circling a painfully-spaced serif — the black and all uppercase approach didn’t help either — with a burst of glitter at the beginning for good measure. The new logo is all about friendliness and accessibility and it replaces the old-school swooshes with a new-school… ribbon-flag-thing. I really don’t know what it is, what it represents, or why even have it as it’s barely there. It’s so condensed in relationship to the rest of the wordmark that it feels like an appendage. The gradients don’t win it any additional grace with me. The focus of the logo is on the wordmark, that goes the full opposite of the old one with a lowercase approach. At first glance it’s okay but the “f” is far too tall and even though “f”s are generally taller than “t”s, here the difference is too pronounced. The “bank” typography is okay too and I like how it aligns with the crossbar of the “f” but that “nk” ligature, though, I don’t know… Overall, it’s not a bad logo but, being relatively minimal, any small detail stands out.
In application, the swooshes make a comeback as a layout device and they are not as annoying as they could be. What’s more annoying is the italic type in the ads — delivering the “In rhythm with your [blank]” brand campaign — that I feel cheapens the look. Italic sans serifs are hard to pull off and this default-looking choice is not the best way to do it. Then there is the addition of handwritten text on a faux blank area. It’s just trying too hard and doing too many things. The brochures share the swoosh but have another sans serif in use altogether. The TV spots are cute and the logo animation at the end, almost sells the icon. Overall, the identity is lively and feels very consumer-oriented so it will probably do just fine in the marketplace.