RBC is not only the largest Canadian bank. It is also the largest company in the country and one of the oldest organizations founded in 1864 by sea merchant entrepreneurs. At first, the Royal Bank of Canada served only coastal provinces with a developed shipbuilding industry. Then he moved to the Caribbean region, opened branches in Cuba, the UK, and the USA.
Meaning and History
The largest financial institution in Canada until 1901 was known as the Merchants Bank of Halifax. His first emblem also looked different. It was used as a seal and therefore consisted of concentric circles. The full name of the company was written around the edges. In the middle was a black and white image of a sailing ship that once belonged to one of the bank’s founders. The rebranding of 1901 changed everything. The owners renamed the financial and credit organization and chose a new concept for its logo.
1901 – 1962
In 1901, a new era began in the history of the Merchants Bank of Halifax. It became known as the Royal Bank of Canada and lost its iconic three-deck ship emblem. The designers decided to emphasize the territorial affiliation of RBC by placing a multi-piece Canadian coat of arms in the center. Its main elements were a lion, a Scottish unicorn, a coat of arms, a crown, and a ribbon with the national motto “AMARI USQUE AD MARE.” They were inside a yellow circle in a blue strap ring. The full name of the financial institution was written along the circle.
1962 – 1974
In 1962, a new RBC emblem appeared. The coat of arms has disappeared, although some classical elements have been retained. The artists left the lion but turned it to the left and enlarged it so that only the head with the mane was in focus. The animal held its front paw on a globe – a symbol of the Royal Bank of Canada’s global presence. A figured crown was above the globe, and a heraldic shield framed the bottom of the drawing. The design has changed a lot compared to the last time: it became simpler, manifested itself even in the minimalistic gray and white palette.
1974 – 2001
The 1974 redesign went unnoticed. The creators of the logo replaced the gray with black to give the image a crisp look. At the same time, they corrected the shape of the lines and removed some details.
2001 – present
The heraldic shield returned to the current logo – though not the same as on Canada’s coat of arms. In this version, it is rectangular and has a rounded base. The shield is also painted blue, so other elements stand out well against its background: a golden lion with a globe at the top and a white inscription “RBC” at the bottom. Moreover, the designers turned the animal to the right and changed the drawing style to have nothing in common with the previous version.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The emblems’ history reflects the transition from the sailing ship Merchants Bank of Halifax to the Royal Bank of Canada’s modern design. It demonstrates the gradual evolution of the monetary institution. RBC is currently using an image that is registered under the Lion and Globe trademark. In this “duet,” the image of a lion was taken from the country’s coat of arms, and the globe symbolizes the worldwide fame of the company.
The abbreviation at the bottom of the logo is written in letters with short, sharp serifs. The strokes’ thickness is uneven: the transitions from wide lines to narrow ones make the inscription unusual.
The bank’s name is white so that it can be seen on the blue heraldic shield (shade Medium Persian Blue, # 005DAA). The designers chose yellow for the lion’s image and the globe (Cyber Yellow, # FFD200).