FutureBrand has redesigned the visual identity and logo for NatWest, basing the revamp on the bank’s original 3D logo from 1968.
The logo was originally designed as three interlocking cubes to represent the coming together of three banks, the design agency explains, though the existing logo was a simplified and flattened version of that form.
FutureBrand has brought the icon back into 3D by adding shadows to the shapes, and has rolled out the cube concept across the rest of the branding. An illustrative cuboid typeface has been created to be used across the identity, using colourful, multifaceted forms to directly connect with the updated icon. The rest of the branding uses the colour scheme and blocky forms, linking to the design in a more subtle way.
“We wanted to create an identity system that was unique to NatWest and to do that we needed a brand asset that was already their own, however hidden or historical,” explains Dan Witchell, FutureBrand executive creative director and creative lead on the project. “We found the reference to the cubes in the RBS archive from 1968 and it gave us the sort of device we were looking for. It means that even if you don’t see the logo, you see cubes and that tells you instantly that it’s NatWest, a subconscious yet direct link back to the logo.”
As part of the project FutureBrand has also redesigned the visual identity for the Royal Bank of Scotland, using patterns inspired by Scottish tweeds and tartans. Aiming to create a contemporary interpretation of the traditional fabric patterns, FutureBrand has generated its own RBS pattern, “the Royal Bank tweel… a subtle nod to its Scottish heritage that runs through all brand communications”.