How We Created a Consistent Brand Identity for an Online Bank

26 May 2023

In today’s world, people expect to receive from service providers more than just functionality that gets the job done. Working on the brand identity for modern online banking, we’ve aimed to translate all brand values into a pleasant visual appearance that would break traditional associations with financial services — the difficulty of finance management, inconvenience with paying utility bills, struggles to cut expenses and save, and more. Instead, we wanted to present a user-friendly product where young, tech-savvy people can come for advice. As our target audience follows the trends in different industries, interacts with the world, and expresses themselves not only through fashion choices or music taste but through technologies, we’ve reflected this in the bank’s brand identity to create a powerful connection with them.

Follow our story to get more details on how we’ve designed a distinctive brand identity for a financial service. Let’s dive straight into the process.

Understanding Brand’s Values

As we mentioned earlier, our brand wants to be simple yet refined, as its audience is sophisticated. It changes established norms for the financial sector, trying to engage people in more pleasant interactions with money, providing not only typical banking services but also financial advice. For youth, it is helpful, as young people often struggle with managing their finances properly and getting their priorities straight. Our brand wants to ease dealing with expenses, incomes, loans, mortgages, multiple bank accounts, etc., and bring financial literacy to a whole new level. It is like an experienced friend who can give a piece of solid advice you want to listen to.

To reach the target audience with our brand identity, we tried to imagine what kind of person our brand could be to base our designs on this. If our brand as a person could easily blend into our target audience, it would have brought amazing results. So, we asked some questions. What would their lifestyle look like? What would their vibe be like? What would their interests be?

Finally, we got a vision. Our brand is sociable; it likes small talk about the weather with strangers, and it is nice to spend even a little time with, like a ride on the elevator. It goes to social gatherings; you can easily talk to it about the new bar’s interior or walk around the park discussing your dogs’ activities. It sets a good mood around and simply is a likable person.

Our brand is eco-friendly. It cares about environmental problems, reduces the use of non-recyclable items, and inspires others to do so. It is an animal lover who volunteers at pet shelters to make the world a better place to live.

The brand is also not afraid of anything new and strives to try and implement new technologies in everyday life. It loves experiments and is happy when new technologies actually bring a difference.

With this view, we started to work on naming and visual identity that would reflect the brand values and positioning. Let’s look at what we’ve got.

Creating Visual Identity

Visual identity is responsible for consistency and coherence through all the touchpoints to bring a unified brand experience and create a strong emotional connection to the brand. Every detail matters to the picture as a whole. In our process, we begin by choosing the right name to attract and retain users.

Choosing the name

The name choice was quite difficult for our team as we understood its significance for the whole brand idea. We wanted the name to be short, memorable, and sharp, but we did not want it to sound familiar to our competitors (Monese, Revolut, N26, Tomorrow, bunq). We also understand it should reflect our philosophy and not bring associations with traditional banking. We want the name to incarnate the idea that the brand is a new fintech startup that has the potential to change the whole industry for the better and inspire people.

Our brand is keen on new technologies, so we experimented with ChatGPT to generate the most suitable name. In the prompt, we mentioned our main requirement: a short and sharp name that will stick to the users. We got a list with 20 possible options and started to sift through them.

As you can see, these options contained words linked to traditional banking, like money, cash, wealth, pay, exchange, etc., so we corrected our prompt to get closer to something unusual we were looking for. And we got other, more suitable variants: Syva, Gbank, Bazaar, BBazaar, Baza, Bbaz, and Fese. Two of them — Syva and Fese — matched our search and goal, but we preferred the second one. Fese is a perfect choice in our case, as this name is not explicitly linked with the financial industry, and we wanted to show the new approach in communication and services. ChatGPT confirmed our choice, and from that moment, we went on with a logo, color palettes, and typography.

Designing the logo

A logo should reflect the brand’s philosophy and directly speak to the audience, asserting the brand’s values. Our audience consists of young people in search of their true selves. They do not have an established life yet and sometimes struggle financially. We wanted to guide them and help to become confident in their finances and life. These were our starting points.

We aimed to express that confidence in our logo, considering that this is in the fintech industry, where stability actually matters. There were a few options for the logo, but we settled on a wordmark. Wordmark allows us to be straightforward yet elegant. It affirms and creates a strong association with a person who knows what they want and what they do and can teach you too.

Settling on color palette

As we know, colors influence people’s perception of different things. Some motivate people to act, while others may set a specific mood. While choosing the colors for Fese, we started with competitor research as we did not want to blend with other online bankings.

Finally, we settled on colors that reflect our philosophy the most:

  • The green color reflects Fese’s eco-friendly policy and nature inspirations, and simultaneously, it associates with money and the financial industry in general. We did not explicitly use anything linked with traditional banking. However, choosing green as one of our colors, we assert a place in the financial market for Fese.
  • The sea wave colors, in turn, raise trust and create a strong bond, ensuring brand loyalty.
  • Orange and lilac are the bright colors that speak directly to the youth in our target audience and establish Fese as a new and trendy banking with unusual solutions.

Typography solution

The font is an essential part of brand identity as it appears on every touchpoint with the brand. It should be readable in every context, so sometimes, the best decision is to go for an option that proves itself million times.

For Fese, we decided to use Helvetica Neue. This font is already a classic. It looks marvelous both online and offline, in the titles and the large and small text. That is why Helvetica Neue is so popular among various companies around the world, including NYC Underground, where it helps people to navigate.

For Fese, like for many other modern companies, it fulfills all business needs.

Defining the Brand’s Communication Style

For this chapter in our process, we’ve created materials for offline and online communication that would express our position as a new and sincere brand. Whether we talk about billboards, posters, any other printed materials, or Instagram stories, our geometric symbols and patterns suit it perfectly as they anticipate belonging to nature and nostalgia for calm childhood memories.

We wanted our messages to be natural, concise, and bright. Therefore, we rejected the option of retouched photos and chose the ones with genuine emotions. We wanted our audience to relate to these images and feel the sincerity of our messages.

Thinking About Users

Fese is a whole infrastructure with a few main touchpoints with the users, including the mobile app and the website. The brand identity we’ve created allows Fese to stay consistent throughout all processes.
Being an online bank, Fese also issues cards. When we designed the physical payment cards, we had to comply with Mastercard guidelines regarding the technical details, like the contrast level.

Keeping in mind our audience and trying to anticipate their wishes, developers added the customization feature for cards. Users can personalize them in the mobile app and get a physical copy later. For that matter, we’ve created different geometric and floral patterns customers can use to add a spring of color.

Working on the website was relatively easy as we already had all the necessary graphic elements. All we had to do was to take into account the various engaging points with the site: how the user found it, what they are looking for specifically, do they need any help with services, etc. We’ve applied basic UI/UX principles to make the interactions as simple and comfortable as possible.

Fese’s goal is to help users to deal with their problems and ease their lifestyles by assisting them to manage their finances. The designed brand identity helps with it all the way through.

Wrapping It Up

We wanted to design a consistent brand identity for the app in the fintech niche that changes typical banking. Thinking about our target audience and personified brand’s vision, we’ve started to seek a simple name, design a logo, and choose the color palette and typography. Using Chat GPT, we settle on a memorable name not directly linked with money, wealth, and finances, underlining the new approach in fintech. The wordmark as a logo reflects confidence, while the colors implicitly show the brand’s positioning. For fonts, we went with classics to not confuse our users. Our communication details demonstrate the new sincerity and genuine emotions. We propose not just an app to pay utility bills but a lifestyle everyone strives to try.

If you need a brand identity for your project, we will gladly implement it. The Idealogic design team is ready to start working with you.

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