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LogoLounge 6 by Bill Gardner, Catharine Fishel

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Job:08-20331/20788/21373 Title:RP-Logo Lounge 6
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(Text)
Design Firm
MetaDesign
Commerzbank
Identity Design
Client
Project
The merger of Commerzbank and Dresdner Bank in May 2009 caused
tremors throughout the financial system in Germany that few could have
predicted.
In sheer size, the new organization was suddenly the second largest bank
in Germany, just after Deutsche Bank. The merger was also a cultural phe-
nomenon: Commerzbank and Dresdner were both very historic brands,
comparable with Mercedes Benz. Commerzbank was founded in 1870,
and Dresdner Bank in 1872; both had long been household brand names.
Consumers and bank employees were understandably a bit unsettled in
wondering what would happen to these familiar, trusted banks, and in turn,
what would happen to their jobs, accounts, loans, and so on.
But making everyone even more nervous was the global financial crisis,
which was ripening in 2009. Things were not going well. It appeared as if
matters could only get worse.
In the middle of all of this angst was the design team at MetaDesign’s
Berlin office. When the two banks merged, the designers were already in
the midst of an identity redesign for Commerzbank only. Suddenly, news
of the merger was on the horizon. Now, two banks had to be considered
in the redesign equation.
The financial crisis was hard enough on bank employees and bank cus-
tomers, but adding the merger on top of malaise made the job of uniting
the two banks and the people they represented that much more difficult.
“When we started on the Commerzbank project, we thought of it as an
opportunity to do a really historic redesign. But then we had to bring
together these companies and all of these people and establish a new
idea that worked for everyone,” says MetaDesign creative director, Thomas
Klein. “People at the banks were confused and worried about their futures.”
The clear direction for the design team was to bring the best aspects of
both companies into a new identity. The new identity needed to reassure
and motivate employees and customers alike. The first step would be to
decipher what those best aspects were.
Commerzbank’s old logo used yellow as its corporate color. Its
design was simple: Four arrows surround a central point.
The Dresdner brand had an emotionally charged history. Its logo
was called “the eye of Ponto,” after its beloved and well-trusted
former chairman, Jürgen Ponto.
When we started on the Commerzbank project,
we thought of it as an opportunity to do a really
historic redesign.
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LogoLounge 6
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Job:08-20331/20788/21373 Title:RP-Logo Lounge 6
#175 Dtp:223 Page:32
032-043_21373.indd 32 9/23/10 9:19 AM

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