Scotiabank is a Canadian bank with Scottish roots. At first, it was the Bank of Nova Scotia, which involved transatlantic trade between three parts of the world: Europe, America, and Africa. Then he launched a branch system and began to develop new territories, right up to the Caribbean. Having entered the international level, the financial institution moved to Ontario’s province and changed its name 75 years later to make it universal. This is how the global Scotiabank brand appeared, not tied to a specific geographic location.
Meaning and History
The bank, founded in 1832, acquired more than twenty companies and opened hundreds of representative offices abroad. It is present in the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico, and almost fifty other countries, where about 92 thousand employees work under the famous red and white Scotiabank emblem (as of 2020). Its services are focused on the international market, so the main graphic symbol is the globe.
But the modern visual style is relatively new. Before this, the financial institution used a wordmark that Allan Fleming developed in 1961. The sketch is still kept in the Toronto archives of the Scotiabank Group. The designer at Cooper & Beatty shortened the name Bank of Nova Scotia to Scotiabank and combined two contrasting fonts to make the typography stand out. For Scotia, he used an 18th-century typeface imitating calligraphic handwriting, and for BANK, he used a sans serif with rounded corners, similar to machine-readable fonts.
The rest of the company’s logos look completely different. And there are at least four of them because Scotiabank has been looking for its unique style for a long time. When he finally strengthened his position in the international market, he needed a universal symbolism.
1832 – 1974
In 1832, the Bank of Nova Scotia appeared – the future Scotiabank. It was so-called until 1975. The banking institution branches were decorated with a round coat of arms depicting a heraldic shield, divided into three parts. In the upper segment, there was a three-masted sailboat, in the middle – a fish, and in the lowest – a bandaged sheaf against the background of an old plow. The point is that the bank was created for transatlantic trade. The ships ply between the three parts of the world and transported valuable goods, including agricultural products. Therefore, all elements of the emblem had a logical relationship.
The shield was placed in a wreath of flowers and thistle leaves. He was also surrounded by a wide frame – a ring with the inscription “THE BANK OF NOVA SCOTIA INC 1832”. There were bold dots between the words. Alexander Scott Carter designed this coat of arms in 1921. A color reproduction appeared a little later.
1974 – 1998
In 1975, the financial institution changed its name to Scotiabank to make the brand international. Simultaneously, a logo appeared with this word and the iconic icon in the form of a stylized “S.” In front of the letter, there was a globe – a symbol of the fact that the multinational company has covered the whole world with its network of branches. The primary color was red, and the secondary color was white.
1998 – 2019
At the turn of the millennium, there was a rebranding that changed the appearance of the emblem. The letter “S” with a globe has moved to the left. In turn, the inscription “Scotiabank” has been slightly reduced and moved to the right. The red has taken on a deep pink hue.
2019 – present
In May 2019, the bank’s owners decided to simplify the logo and split it into two parts. The wordmark with the updated font has become the main element of Scotiabank’s visual identity. The “S” graphic continued to be used as a secondary icon. Moreover, the icon’s design has changed markedly: the globe, lined with parallels and meridians, has turned into a simple red circle, and the letter has been transformed from two curving lines of the same color.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The main symbol of an international financial organization used to look like a real globe, albeit without continents. The same graphic element can now be found on the BBC Panorama logo. In 2019, designers simplified the image as much as possible, focusing on geometric shapes. To do this, they removed the vertical and horizontal stripes, and at the same time, separated the two parts of the letter “S,” which was hidden behind the planet. The emblem remains recognizable but now resembles an abstract eye with a large round pupil.
The previous Scotiabank wordmarks are based on the Sharp Sans font. This is a geometric sans-serif created by the typographer Lucas Sharp. The first version of the typeface was published in 2009, and a revised update came out in 2016. The last logo has a slightly different letterform. In particular, “t” has no bend at the bottom, and the edges of “S” and “c” are cut at a sharper angle.
The colors were constantly changing too. In 1998, orange-red (# F14524) changed to rose red (# EE1229). Then the pink tint disappeared, and the lettering turned dark red (# EC0712).