Opinions on corporate and brand identity work.

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Union Bank of Not Just California

Reviewed Jul. 10, 2009 by Armin

Industry / Finance Tags /

Union Bank Logo, Before and After

As its original name implied, Union Bank has a big presence in the state of California but as the organization has grown, expanding into neighboring states like Oregon and Washington, and with two international offices and six in other states of the U.S., it was time to drop the “of California.”

In a letter issued to customers last month, Union Bank President and CEO Masa Tanaka explained:

“With the change in our name, it was necessary to update our logo, and this gave us a wonderful opportunity to develop a look that underscored the values that we hold close.”

“The most important among these values is a singular dedication to serving your financial needs, which we have very boldly illustrated by adopting a dominant U in our new look. We hope you will always consider it your personal invitation to let us provide your financial solutions.”
Press Release

How a “dominant U” illustrates “a singular dedication to serving your financial needs” is beyond me, but I will side with Mr. Tanaka to say that the dominant U is quite nice. It has a lovely swooping feeling without looking weak or fleeting, and I absolutely appreciate that the design manages to convey dimension without resorting to shading and bubbly Photoshop effects. The typography is perfectly adequate although I suspect it will get a rise from Gotham haters.

Thanks to Glenn Sakamoto for first tip.



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