Nationwide has today unveiled its most significant rebrand in over three decades. The work by London studio New Commercial Arts is part of a drive to modernise the building society and reaffirm it being owned by members rather than shareholders.
The modernised rebrand, its biggest since 1987, is set to be rolled out across Nationwide's network of 605 branches and reinforces its promise to keep all of its hubs open to the public in an era when other banks are closing their doors.
Alongside the updated visual identity, the new branding sees Nationwide promise to be 'A Good Way to Bank' after research revealed 63 per cent of people value their local branch, with face-to-face service given as the top answer as to why. Leicester, Leeds, Cambridge, Cardiff and Nottingham are among the first branches to showcase the new look, while this week will also see the new identity revealed across internet banking, its mobile app, and debit and credit cards.
The new logo modernises and simplifies the Nationwide icon. Traditionally depicting a village, the previous iteration was considered too fussy for the modern age, so New Commercial Arts reduced its form, making good use of negative space and colour so as to not impact any brand recognition. The agency focused on the rising sun aspect of the icon, a shape that stood out to consumers during its testing phase and one that illuminates a house.
The custom typography, meanwhile, draws on the heritage of the building society, recalling Editorial New, a typeface used in Nationwide's advertising during the 1980s and now used as its heading font. The fresh wordmark features a customised version of Founders Grotesk with a lowercase 'n' of the brand name, also standing out as the biggest update. The same type family is now used for Nationwide's body copy.
The logo and typeface sit beside an overhauled palette that remains "recognisably Nationwide" in its use of hero red and blue – colours taken from the society's old identity and ones that make the brand more accessible for all. Its set of secondary colours has been inspired by the colours that "make up community life in the UK", according to the Society, "from the green of local parks to the blue of heritage plaques and letterbox red", all offering a modern slant.
It is the latest move by Nationwide in a bid to challenge shareholder-owned banks by demonstrating its differences. In June, Nationwide extended its 'Branch Promise', meaning it won't leave any town or city in which it is based until at least 2026. In May, the Society announced it was returning £340 million of profit to 3.4 million eligible members through its inaugural 'Fairer Share' payment, each receiving £100.
"We're incredibly excited to see this rebrand come to life across Nationwide's physical and digital real estate," says Rob Curran from New Commercial Arts. "The Nationwide brand is a special one, and it now has a look and feel to match – strikingly modern, refreshingly simple, yet still so familiar. We've gone through the design archives at Nationwide and recalled some beautiful elements from their history while at the same time creating a new brand that is fit for the future."