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New Logo for Northern Trust by VSA Partners



Noted Mar. 8, 2016 by Armin

Industry / Finance Tags /


“(Est. 1889) “Northern Trust Corporation is a leading provider of wealth management, asset servicing, asset management and banking to corporations, institutions, affluent families and individuals. Founded in Chicago in 1889, Northern Trust has offices in the United States in 19 states and Washington, D.C., and 20 international locations in Canada, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. As of December 31, 2015, Northern Trust had assets under custody of US$6.1 trillion, and assets under management of US$875 billion. For more than 125 years, Northern Trust has earned distinction as an industry leader for exceptional service, financial expertise, integrity and innovation.”

Design by

VSA Partners (Chicago, IL)

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Relevant quote
VSA conducted a full brand audit and analysis that helped articulate Northern Trust’s distinct value to the highly discerning “dynamic financial class” they serve. The team found that, while the new approach would successfully reach younger audiences, it would also naturally align with the changing needs of their current customer base. Based on this insight, VSA created a new brand strategy, identity and expression that is currently being supported in the market with the new tagline Achieve Greater.

Though the logo had seen several evolutions over the past 125 years, it hadn’t been significantly updated since 1975. Northern Trust wanted to preserve the sacrosanct elements that have always set them apart: a color palette that departs from the financial sector’s predominant use of blue, and the emblematic anchor that has represented Northern Trust’s unparalleled stability since day one.

In revamping the logo, VSA did away with the sweeping, stylized details that added a level of dated complexity to the logo. By maintaining the equity of the brand’s anchor, the mark preserves Northern Trust’s steadfast heritage while offering a modernized spin that looks to the future. It uses a refined shape, simplified line weights and customized letterforms that are fully optimized for reproductivity across any digital channel--and by extension, help to communicate Northern Trust’s tech-savvy approach to their clients’ needs.

VSA Partners provided text

Images (opinion after)
New Logo for Northern Trust by VSA Partners
Logo detail.
New Logo for Northern Trust by VSA Partners
Foil logo on green.
TV commercial. Logo animation at the end.
New Logo for Northern Trust by VSA Partners
New Logo for Northern Trust by VSA Partners
New Logo for Northern Trust by VSA Partners
New Logo for Northern Trust by VSA Partners

No information on this one but it doesn't take a forensic team to figure it out: Old, elaborate anchor drawing turns into simplified anchor with an "NT" monogram intertwined. It's crisp and looks great. I kind of wish there was something loopy in the new logo to keep the rope from the old anchor but, still, I much prefer this contemporary interpretation. The wordmark has also gotten a sharp update with a very nice sans serif with quirky "R"s. There is a slight chance the logo might lack the seriousness the old logo had and the implied stability it represented with the bookish serif and old-timey anchor but, overall, a solid corporate logo redesign.

Update, Nov. 11, 2016: Additional images and a design approach text were provided by VSA Partners.

Thanks to David Pfeffer for the tip.

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