This is a very old entry — images are small, formatting is off.
Early in October, the 150-year-old Bank of New Zealand unveiled a new identity as wall as a name change to BNZ, which is apparently how people refer to it, but I wouldn’t really know, I’ll defer to our NZ readers. The change, as is clear from the before and after logos, is meant to take the bank from the perception of a stodgy, traditional bank to that of a friendlier more contemporary one.
Ah, the joys of transition. Photo by Flickr user Wilhelm Augustus Hohenzollern.
For more than 150 years we’ve anticipated and responded to changes in the New Zealand way of life. We’ve come a long way in that time. Our new logo is a closer expression of who we are today and where we want to be. In the coming months you’ll see our appearance gradually change.
— Press release
There isn’t much information about the change, specifically about the logo itself, which may be part of why people are speculating that the little tail off to the left of the “b” is actually a pig’s tail, honoring the happy piggie banks that have been the mascots of BNZ since 2006 when Y&R introduced them in this campaign, and an updated TV ad has been released with the new logo.
Pig tail or not, the change is drastic, and much needed. The old logo felt like you were funding the New Zealand government as it looked exceedingly official, specially as the old logo sported the same four stars of the Southern Cross constellation as seen on the country’s flag, while the new one is more in line with the state of retail banking today — current financial crisis notwithstanding — where it’s all about creating a comfortable, groovy atmosphere.
Curvy and lowercase, the new logo is a great improvement not just in aesthetics but in utility as the three-letter logo can be used with more ease and more impact than the mile-long previous version. Turning the “nz” into a sort of ligature or forcing it to connect as an italic or script feels awkward as it would seem unnatural to flow from the “n” to the “z” in that way, but the general flow is at least pleasing. The identity, designed by DNA, is complemented by a proprietary type family, Serrano, designed by Kris Sowersby of Klim Type Foundry.
Thanks to Mark Rickerby and Camryn Peter Brown for the tip.