(Est. 1991) “Absa Group Limited, formerly Barclays Africa Group Limited, and originally Amalgamated Banks of South Africa, is a South African financial services provider, offering personal and business banking, credit cards, corporate and investment banking, wealth and investment management as well as bancassurance. Absa Bank Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Absa Group Limited.” (Wikipedia)
Barclays Africa Group Limited has officially been renamed Absa Group Limited and started trading under its new name and new share code (ABG) on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange today. The name change marks the start of a new era for the group as a standalone African group with a new brand design fit for a forward-looking business in a digital age.
Images (opinion after)
The old logo was decent, even with the swoosh around the “A” monogram, looking finance-y and paired with a simple and relatively elegant wordmark. The big story here, though, isn’t changing from the old logo as much as it is leaving behind the Barclays brand association and establishing Absa as its own, independent brand. The new logo is… fine. The wordmark is well done; it’s not my cup of tea but it works. The circle around it, though, I’m not sure I like, and I don’t understand why it’s cut out. Because it looks like a steering wheel, I get automotive company vibes. The two small parts of the circle are then used for messaging, which is also fine but nothing too exciting. The video introducing the new identity is all over the place, looking like every MTV effect ever, which may be good to establish a youthfulness to the brand but mostly it’s weird in that it feels like it is throwing everything they got into the mix to see what sticks. The “Africanacity” concept (despite how weird that word sounds) is a really strong foundation and I would have loved to see the logo/identity/motion go more in that direction, which feels more authentic, purposeful, and unique to Absa as a fledgling financial institution in Africa. That drone show, tho.
Thanks to Juan Labuschagne for the tip.