Crédit Agricole is the world’s largest cooperative financial institution. It includes an extensive network of local banks of the same name, 39 regional banks, and the Crédit Agricole SA institute. His expertise includes retail banking, asset management, cooperative banking, investing, personal deposits, and more. For its agrotechnical focus, the company is often called “green bank.” It appeared as an independent structure in 1894. Its head office is located in Montrouge (France).
Meaning and History
This banking organization’s work started at the end of the 19th century after the document was approved regulating the freedom of activity of professional associations. Among other things, it allowed the formation of farmers’ unions and local banks for mutual assistance. A year after adopting the Act, the foundation of the current organization appeared – Société de Crédit Agricole. The society was founded in February 1885 at Salins-les-Bains in the Jura region.
Then the Minister of Agriculture of France Jules Méline began to promote the opening of such financial services on the ground so that farmers receive the necessary financial support and actively develop the industry. Lending was mainly related to small family-type farms. So Crédit Agricole spread throughout the country.
The first banks were founded by the rural elite: agronomists, teachers, entrepreneurs, and private property owners. Because the farmers themselves were in the minority, this led to the decline of the banking network due to the inability to provide loans. In 1897, the government demanded that the Banque de France finance Crédit Agricole and issue a one-time 40 million gold francs and charge 2 million francs every year in fees.
After the cooperative bank felt confident and finally got to its feet, it started thinking about its own identity. Therefore, the history of logos counting does not begin immediately but several years later. In total, there were five personal emblems in his career.
1930 – 1948
The debut logo was an unofficial prototype. It emphasized the agricultural focus of the financial institution and consisted of a double-edged circle. In the center were an ear and grapes (on the right) and the inscription “MCA” (on the left). The letters were classic, serif, and the color was monochrome (white and beige).
1948 – 1959
In 1948, the official emblem was approved – semi-oval, in the form of a seal. The developers tried to make sure that it maximally conveyed the priority of the agricultural sector. Grapes were chosen as the main element. A dense bunch was in the center, on a carved grape leaf against the background of a map of France. Under them were the elongated letters “C,” “A,” “M” with unevenly protruding ends. Along the edge, there was a wide strip with the company’s full name – “Crédit Agricole Mutuel.” On a separate fragment at the very bottom, the abbreviation was repeated once more, but in a standard uppercase font.
1959 – 1971
The structure of the logo has not changed – it has just been improved. The designers made the oval distinctly elongated, resembling a horseshoe. This is the link between the agricultural sector and the livestock sector. The authors still left in the logo a bunch of grapes on a broad carved leaf, a map of France, and a shaded sea. Added three ears and removed the schematic inscription from three separate letters – “C,” “A,” and “M.” But they did not touch the lower abbreviation.
1971 – 1987
The beginning of this period marks a watershed in the history of the Crédit Agricole logo. It has become much more laconic and modern. The developers removed all unnecessary elements because the financial cooperative was already widely known and was familiar to the majority. The logo contained the abbreviation “CA.” Both letters were shaped like horseshoes. The lower part “C” served as a crossbar “A.” The focus on the agricultural sector was conveyed by the color – two shades of green.
1987 – today
The current logo is a stylization of the previous one. The designers have made some adjustments to emphasize the bank’s desire to move forward and be ready for openness. They positioned “C” diagonally and extended the bottom side, “A” added angularity, making it classic. Below the abbreviation is a single green stripe, the same width as the letters. There is a bright red stroke on the top right.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The evolution of the logo was categorical because, as a result, only two laconic letters remained from many small details. But the agricultural theme has always been supported. At first, it was expressed in agricultural details and then in colors. This concept was approved by the management of the financial group at the stage of its inception.
The developers have chosen two types of typefaces for the emblem: chopped – for the side text with an expanded name, with serifs – for the central lower inscription with an abbreviation. In modern versions, graphic characters are used instead of block letters.
The color palette is restrained, with a predominance of green tones – olive, khaki, dark green. Now the designers have added red # ed1c24 and emerald # 009b9d to green # 006f4e.