Logo Design Refresh

In 2006, Alcoa Employees and Community Credit Union, a longstanding Midwestern financial institution, needed to separate from the world’s third-largest aluminum producer. After settling on a new name and logo through an internal process, Ascentra’s VP of Marketing brought in the Ethic team to take over the development of the young brand, and we’ve been nurturing and helping it grow ever since.
A logo gets new life
Since 2006 Ethic had struggled with how to use Ascentra’s logo to its fullest potential. From the first day it was handed to us, we knew we were going to have problems. It was literally unprintable, using color transparencies that at the time struggled to be “ripped” for printing. A very frustrating mistake that honestly should never have been allowed to be approved. With a little creativity and knowledge of the printing process we were able to make a workable solution. As you can see from the before, the iconography looks nice and is visually appealing; using the logo in everyday life was a different matter, in that it could only be used over white. Reluctant to change, we worked for years with what we had.
In 2012, Ascentra brought in a new VP of Marketing, who was very receptive to how we could keep the essence of the brand through a logo design refresh. In the end, the solution was relatively painless; outlines were created around the ascending bubbles and the font was beefed up to be more readable across multiple platforms. Before 2012 Ascentra and Ethic only had a few Credit Union marketing awards to pat themselves on the back with. After Ethic’s logo development, the awards are flooding in and the new, more workable, logo design is the foundation for that success.

Logo Refresh

For many reasons, Southeastern Federal Credit Union was taking “Federal” out of their name. Seems simple enough, but when you’re a financial institution with numerous branches, ATM locations and a plethora of branded institutional materials, the change can be a daunting task. Knowing everything would need to change, the decision was made to look into a new brand exercise to work through just how far SFCU was willing to move away from their current look. The designs would specifically attempt to make the icon “break out” of its borders and be more dynamic in appearance.
Ethic had already reworked many of SFCU’s brand elements over the past year. We had also just launched their new website and a general awareness campaign – so we new the logo refresh couldn’t be a drastic departure. To add to the mix of obstacles, Southeastern is in a tough credit union market with several well-established community banks and many false preconceptions about credit unions in general. How far should we push then? In the end, through several rounds of exploration of color, iconography and type, the decision was in; minus stronger, more workable colors and subtle changes in type, the logo would stay the same. We could consider the exercise a failure on our part to “woo” them into change. Change would provide us with plenty of new work. Honestly, while we all loved the work we created, any drastic change would be a costly marketing challenge setting everyone back to where we had started the year before… Time to move forward and woo the community with targeted campaigns featuring great rates and undeniable customer service.