Opinions on corporate and brand identity work.

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


Simple Banking, an Oxymoron Realized

Reviewed Nov. 16, 2011 by Armin

Industry / Finance Tags /

Simple Logo, Before and After

Launched this Fall, Simple (formerly BankSimple) is a new alternative to banking with big ass banks that are pain in the ass. If you’ve ever called your bank’s customer support or tried to decode the online statements and wished that instead you were sitting naked in an igloo then you know what I’m talking about. Simple is not a bank, they are an intermediary between you and a bank. As they put it, “We take care of you, our bank partners take care of your money.” They provide a Visa card and you can then track your account and expenses through an amazingly designed and intuitive online and mobile interface. After being in Beta for a few months, Simple has launched to the public with a new name and new identity designed in-house by Ian Collins.

Today is a new beginning for another reason as well: BankSimple is now Simple. Simple is a better representation of what we aspire to. It releases us from the constraints of an industry in desperate need of innovation.
Introducing Simple


The Simple icon is a basic guilloche pattern meant to resemble a torus or ring. A guilloche is a complex pattern created from simple, repeated, geometric steps defined by elementary equations. It’s this easily generated, difficult to reproduce intricacy that has led to a guilloche appearing in some form on most of the world’s currency. It is a sign of authenticity and security. That their intricate beauty is derived from understandable, algorithmic methods is what drew us to guilloche patterns and ultimately led us to represent our company and mission with one.
Simple Branding


Icon for use at different sizes.

The previous logo looked like a cheap online company that I would have a hard time trusting with my money. As far as twenty-first-century start-up logos go, it wasn’t that bad but, by contrast, what a difference a nice logo makes. The new logo makes Simple look like an established financial entity, there is a big sense of confidence in that logo. The icon seems almost too easy but, by evoking the patterns we see in currency every day, it makes a lot of sense. I applaud the creation of separate icons for different sizes so that when used small it doesn’t look like an aerial shot of Zuccotti Park pre-evacuation. The typography, well, it’s Gotham. Again. Seems like it’s on a rampage this fourth quarter. As usual, it works well. Overall, this is a great aesthetic for a start-up company asking people to give up their banks that, even if hated, is the trusted form of money management.


The Simple Visa card.



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