Sparkasse is a non-profit financial structure that is subordinated to the regional authorities in Germany. They are state-owned banks, with the legal task of providing the general population with the opportunity to invest funds, carry out payment transactions, and receive loans. They are allowed to provide any banking services to all categories of clients.
Meaning and History
The name “Sparkasse,” taken as the basis for the personal logo, appeared in German society incredibly long ago – it dates back to the 18th century. It denotes government institutions for storing savings with the accumulation and issuance of interest.
The word is compound and includes two stems from the German language. The first is “sparen” (that is, to save, not fully use, to postpone). The second is “kasse” (money box, lockable box). This name reflects a financial institution’s key goal: accepting savings by depositing cash into a cash vault. All this is directly conveyed in the corporate logo.
Thus, savings banks are universal institutions with permission to conduct transactions with money, and they can serve all customers. But they also have some limitations, which are also reflected in the logo. Local authorities run this institution, and the scope of its activities is limited only to the administrative territory.
Also, savings banks do not generate income, adhere to the principle of non-profitability, and conduct non-profit activities. They are mainly engaged in all kinds of payments, deposit issues, securities, and loans. The key goals and objectives of such organizations are reflected in the branding.
1925 – 1938
Karl Schulpig designed the debut emblem. He schematically depicted a satisfied client who rejoices at the opportunity to save money or take out a loan. Instead of eyes, he has the letters “D” and “G,” which are separated by a short, winding stripe reminiscent of “S.” And the mouth is drawn in a “V” shape. At the top, there is a hat in the form of a piggy bank. The logo is monochrome and consists of black lines on a white background.
1938 – 1957
Lois Gaigg designed the second personal mark. He proposed a radically different concept. First, the designer has moved away from the comic image of the client. Secondly, he made the symbolism in a serious style. Now the emblem is a single “S,” which is a letter and a piggy bank. As proof – the coin pictured above. Interestingly, at first, it was a poster, and only then did it become a full-fledged sign of personal identification. In the early years, it served for the internal purposes of the Sparkassenverlag, and in 1948 it was used by most savings banks.
1957 – 1972
The DDR used a logo designed by Siegfried Riediger. He made a basic emphasis on the usefulness and accessibility of financial services. The artist chose a different form of the piggy bank with a wider hole and two coins. Below he depicted brickwork, personifying a building’s wall – both a personal house and some enterprise kind. That is, the icon said: penny to penny – and you will save up for your home or business. In the middle of the hexagon was the inscription “Sparkasse.” For its geometric shape, this option was named “beehive.”
1972 – 2004
This stage became very important in the emblem’s history, as it was unified for all Germany regions. The author of the legendary icon is Otl Aicher. He brought back the 1938 version and redesigned it by removing the extension at the top of the “S” and replacing the black with the red HKS 13. Since then, this shade has been considered a trademark.
2004 – present
The existing logo has been optimized by Interbrand Zintzmeyer & Lux. No further changes were made. The same single “S” is used – the first letter from the name of the service.
The logo’s design was continuously improved, for which different designers made their adjustments and alterations. The opening version was too difficult to understand, so it was gradually modernized, improved, and simplified. Now the laconic red emblem is used, which is well known to all residents of Germany.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
In 1972, the developers chose the Helvetica typeface for the text part – grotesque, even, smooth. Until then, the logo used a serif typeface.
The palette has always been monochrome and consisted of white with black (formerly) or red (now). The latter has a shade of HKS 13. In 2007, the management officially registered it with the patent office as a single color for the emblems of all national Sparkasse services.