Halifax is not an independent bank but one of the divisions of the Bank of Scotland. It appeared in 1853 in the center of Halifax, which is where its name comes from. At first, it was a building cooperative that finances housing development. After the adoption of new laws in the 1980s, the organization expanded. She began to develop a mortgage business and offer credit cards to customers. Subsequently, several mergers took place, which led to the disappearance of Halifax as a legal entity. It is currently no more than a trading name owned by the Bank of Scotland.
Meaning and History
A brand with more than a century and a half history strives to become relevant and modern; therefore, it regularly revises its visual identity. This approach to his image allows him to stay afloat, surrounded by competing fintech startups.
The famous “X” symbol with which Halifax is associated is relatively recent. Earlier logos focused on the name of the company and did not contain additional decorative elements. Wolff Olins designed the original version of the enlarged X. It has become one of the UK’s most iconic emblems. Modern designers have slightly changed their appearance to make the brand attractive to young people and the older generation.
1925 – 1933
A year after opening the London office, Halifax adopted a new logo that mentioned its name. The word “HALIFAX” was on the top line and was written in large print. The second row was occupied by the phrase “BUILDING SOCIETY,” which used smaller capital letters. The color was dark – something between black and brown.
1933 – 1965
The designers changed the characters’ width and the letter spacing’s size, so the inscription in the bottom line began to take up more space. The word “HALIFAX,” on the other hand, has visually diminished. Small depressions appeared at the ends of the letters, although, in general, the style did not change. Black was chosen as the main color, and the background remained white.
1965 – 1977
In 1965 the font was changed a little more so that the two lines were equal in length. The letters in the phrase “BUILDING SOCIETY” have become thinner, and in the word “HALIFAX” – larger.
1977 – 1985
After another redesign, the bottom inscription was removed. The letter “X” took on a non-standard look: it looked like an uneven hand-drawn cross.
1985 – 2019
In 1986, the building cooperative got more financial freedom. He adopted a new logo with a blue ‘HALIFAX’ lettering surrounded by the same blue stripes before expanding the business. The horizontal lines above and below formed a shape that resembled the letter “X” in outline.
2019 – present
On April 5, 2019, the Halifax brand was relaunched by the “Making It Happen” strategy. The corporate identity renewal was designed to make the brand competitive against Starling, Atom, Monzo’s background. The visual identity was developed by London-based creative agency Rufus Leonard, responsible for the Lloyds Banking Group’s identity.
The current Halifax logo looks laconic. The letters are thinner, and the many horizontal stripes have been replaced with four colored blocks. As Carlo D’Alanno, one of Rufus Leonard’s leaders, drew inspiration from other fintech companies’ aesthetics. Perhaps this is why CEO Monzo accused Halifax of plagiarism.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The striped “X” looked like an IBM symbol. Moreover, the lines were erased in the digital space, which contradicted the company’s desire to enter the market of modern financial technologies. The new interpretation of the emblem solved this problem: the revised “X” consists of four large parallelograms that are visible at any scale.
Rufus Leonard’s agency did not make global changes but only slightly simplified the identity. The designers said that Halifax has “nothing broken,” so there is no need to relaunch the brand completely. From their perspective, it was enough to modernize the style a little to attract new clients – first of all, young people.
The new font is thinner than the previous ones. The letters are thinner because they are elongated vertically. This is an almost exact copy of the typeface Falling Sky Blk developed by the printing studio Cannot Into Space Fonts.
The base color, as before, remains blue. There are two shades in the palette: one darker (# 011747) and the second lighter (# 005EB9, similar to Honolulu blue). Against a white background, they look soothing because the designers wanted to create a welcoming atmosphere that would not be too strict or official.