Westpac is Australia’s first and oldest bank. Its full name is Westpac Banking Corporation. It is one of the so-called big four largest financial institutions in the country. The time of its foundation is April 1817. Then it was formed as the Bank of New South Wales, and after merging with the Commercial Bank of Australia, it received its current name and status. This event took place in May 1982. It is an international banking structure with five branches: Westpac New Zealand, Westpac Institutional Bank, BT Financial Group, Commercial and Business Bank, and Consumer Bank. Through its 1204 branches and 3222 ATMs, it serves 14 million customers. The head office is located in Auckland.
Meaning and History
What is Westpac?
Westpac is the oldest bank in Australia, dating back to 1817. It is one of the big four financial institutions in the country.
The bank was conceived as the largest financial institution in the vast Western Pacific area. First, BNSW (short for Bank of New South Wales) opened branches in Australia and almost all of Oceania. This event stretched over the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1850, his branch opened in Moreton Bay, a year later – in the city of Victoria, in 1861 – in New Zealand, in 1877 – in the southern part of the country, and 1883 western part. Then the bank moved to a more expanded expansion: in 1901, it opened a Fiji branch in 1910 – in Papua New Guinea and Tasmania. Thus, the Westpac logo gained widespread recognition.
This was followed by several mergers and offshoots, which were not reflected in the corporate logo. Its current name was and remained its basis. It is formed of two parts indicating the region that this financial institution covers: “WESTern” and “PACific.” In some cases, the full name was used; in others – an abbreviated one. In total, there are five basic logos in the history of the bank.
1931 – 1974
Initially, management approved a custom-made monochrome heraldic coat of arms. It is not a symbol of any kind or dynasty but a specially designed paraphernalia. The logo depicts a classic shield – narrow at the bottom and wide at the top. It is surrounded by national talismans: emu (an ostrich on the left), a swan (on the right), and a kangaroo (above). On the shield itself, there are tools and various elements that emphasize the bank’s close connection with the state’s heritage and with its roots.
1974 – 1982
The modern BNSW identity era began in 1974 with the institution’s full name on an orange-and-sand canvas. On the white horizontal stripe inside the rectangle is the inscription “Bank of New South Wales.” It consists of black sans serif characters. The initial letters in words are uppercase; the rest are lowercase. To the left of the text is the original icon – a stylized “W.” The symbol is made in the form of three-wide petals: one straight (vertical rectangle) and two obliques (two lateral parallelograms).
1982 – 2003
In 1982, the Bank of New South Wales merged with Commercial Bank of Australia to create the Westpac Business Corporation. The new name was used for the first time in the emblem, formed from the merger of “western” and “pacific.” There are no other verbal designations. The graphic part is expressed by “W” – a single red character, consisting of three wide stripes. In this case, it replaces the capital letter. The rest of the characters are lowercase, squat, slightly elongated horizontally.
2003 – present
In this version, the developers have corrected the font: they removed the letters’ elongation and replaced the black color with dark gray. Also, they added brightness to the icon, so it is now a rich red. This logo has not been canceled and is still used by the bank.
2010 – present
In parallel with the existing emblem, another one was approved – actually the same but simplified. Designers have deleted the word “Westpac” because, by the beginning of 2010, banking symbols had become well recognizable even without it. This minimalistic “W” version is mainly intended for advertising materials; therefore, it is created in several samples: white on red, black on white, volumetric (in 3D format).
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The visual identity of the Australian bank moved from complex forms to simple ones. While the debut logo featured many local talismans and heraldry, now everything is limited to one stylized letter. “W” looks like a blossoming flower with three petals: straight central and oblique lateral ones. They are made in the form of geometric shapes – a rectangle and a parallelepiped, which do not touch at the bottom.
The first lettering is made in a typeface reminiscent of Urbano Bold Expanded, but with an elongated “f” hook. The next version of the logo contains the bank’s name with a font close to the commercial version of Foundation Sans Bold Extended and the free “FunZone Regular.” The letter “t” with an elongated right part is individually beaten. The current emblem consists of the word “Westpac” written in the typeface Lucida Sans Demi. It was created by design studio Charles Bigelow & Kris Holmes and first published in URW ++.
The color palette is more stable. It at any time consisted of bright shades of red with a bias in orange or scarlet. They have now added dark gray and black to them. The background is usually white, but versions are also available with a black backing.