Commonwealth Bank, also known as CommBank or CBA, is the largest financial institution in the Southern Hemisphere. It appeared in 1911 as a government project and, after nine years, received the right to manage monetary policy in Australia. After that, CBA began to expand and open branches in hundreds of settlements actively. At that time, he served as a commercial and national bank, which caused disagreements. The government solved this problem by dividing the organization into two parts: Commonwealth Banking Corporation and Reserve Bank of Australia.
Meaning and History
What is Commonwealth Bank?
Commonwealth Bank is a large financial conglomerate from Australia, a representative of the “Big Four” banks.
There are five logos in the history of the financial institution, with the first based on the Australian coat of arms, and the last two differ only in font and palette. The design change is because the company has updated its corporate identity several times – sometimes for marketing purposes and sometimes due to restructuring. The last major redesign came in the wake of the privatization of Commonwealth Bank. In 2020, experts only slightly corrected the logo, adding depth to it.
1911 – 1960
The Labor government created the CBA, so its early logo resembled the coat of arms of Australia. In the center was a heraldic shield, divided into six parts. Each segment contained the emblem of one of the six states (from left to right): a cross, a Southern Cross with a crown, an eight-pointed Maltese cross, a shrike, a swan, and a lion. The Commonwealth Star was depicted above the shield. Its six rays represented the states, and the seventh represented the entire territory of the country.
The shield was supported by kangaroos and emu, traditional Australian animals. The bottom was decorated with two branches of blooming acacia and a ribbon with the inscription “OF AUSTRALIA.” The first half of the name (“COMMONWEALTH BANK”) was at the top and formed an arch. This logo existed until 1960. In 49 years, it changed only once: the designers slightly corrected it in 1926.
1950 – 1961
In the 1950s, CommBank now has a round blue CBA badge. It never became the main emblem but was used informally on some facades and stationery. The main symbol was still a coat of arms with a shield.
1961 – 1991
In 1960, the financial organization was split into two structures. This is how a group of savings and merchant banks called the Commonwealth Banking Corporation was born. She received a new logo depicting the Australian continent. The white contour map was in a black circle, from which three rings diverged to the right. They personified three divisions of the corporation: CDB, CTB, and CSB.
All elements have been placed in a large dark gold circle. Its color symbolized luxury and wealth. The Commonwealth Banking Corporation’s name formed a ring around the logo. The first two words were separated by a seven-sided star, which had the same meaning as on Australia’s coat of arms.
1991 – 2020
In 1991, the privatization of CommBank began. Shortly before that, he incorporated the State Bank of Victoria, which led to creating a united group. The new owners decided to fundamentally change the CBA style, especially since in 1987, it became clear that customers considered it old-fashioned. This is how the Diamond logo appeared – the result of Ken Cato’s long work. The designer made the dark yellow part resemble the constellation Southern Cross, and a small black corner gave the figure a diamond shape.
At the bottom was a compact inscription. There was no gap between Commonwealth and Bank. Only the font separated them: the first word was bolder than the second. Simultaneously, “mm” looked like one letter because they had a common horizontal line. All of this symbolized the community with which the community was associated.
2020 – present
In 2020, CBA updated its logo for the fifth time. A major rebranding was planned several years before the event, but executives were waiting for the right moment. They decided that 2020 was the best time for a change, so they turned to M&C Saatchi and Re for help. They needed to keep the diamond but make it more optimistic. The designers solved this problem by removing the black corner and using a bright yellow palette. The gradient added dynamics to the static image. The name of the bank began to be written separately and in one font.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The iconic diamond is so recognizable that Commonwealth Bank often uses it in advertisements without mentioning its name. According to the designers, this geometric figure represents the constellation Southern Cross – one star for each of the five corners of the yellow polygon.
The financial institution owners are sure: the diamond-shaped emblem symbolizes only the Commonwealth Bank and has nothing to do with Southern Cross. In their opinion, the shape of the diamond was chosen only because it was not associated with other banks.
The previous logo used two variants of the Helvetica font: plain and bold. In 2020, designers had unified typography by opting for just one custom typeface. Judging by the shape of the letters, it was created based on the Helvetica family.
The former orange-black diamond now has several shades of yellow because the bright color is the main symbol of optimism. The smooth gradient makes the image appear three-dimensional and dynamic, in line with the new CBA concept.