Banking Watchdog’s A$100,000 Rebrand Is A Game Of ‘Spot The Difference’2 min read


New logo (left) vs old logo (right)

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has unveiled the final design of its A$100,000 (US$70,827) rebrand that includes a new typeface in its logo design, which has remained largely unchanged in over 20 years.

ASIC worked together with Sydney design firm Folk to develop the new visual identity, in hopes that it will boost the perception of the financial regulator to one that’s “respected” and having its “finger on the pulse.”

According to ABC News, the “creative development” amounted to over A$43,000 (US$30,455) not including GST. A$60,000 (US$42,496) was spent on “design and asset development,” which includes a revamped digital homepage, banners, and stationery templates. A “web design update” amounted to slightly below A$3,000 (US$2,124).

In 2018, ABC News reported that Folk had successfully bid for the project with a pitch that defined the logo as “Symbol Good. Type Bad.”

Matt Keogh, an Australian Labor Member of the Australian House of Representatives, critiqued ASIC’s “bold move” that prioritizes what font it wants to use rather than “actually applying scrutiny to the people [Australia needs] scrutiny applied to.” Instead of spending the money on the rebrand, Keogh argues that the finances could have been invested into hiring an additional investigator to concentrate on banks or mortgage brokers.

Meanwhile, ASIC insists that it had attempted to save taxpayers’ money through the rebranding process. Matthew Abbott, ASIC’s senior executive leader of corporate affairs, told ABC News that the company is gradually introducing the changes as “stationery is exhausted and other materials [such as signs and banners] are replaced.”

The overhaul will help ASIC better adapt to an increasingly digitized world where its visual identity will be more suited for online channels, including social media. Abbott added that the rebrand would be applied to the watchdog’s website, publications, and presentations.

[via ABC News, main image via ASIC]