smile.co.uk
The Co-operative Bank

The UK’s first internet bank.
No doors to walk through.
No human contact.
No personality.
Plenty of trust needing to be established.

How’s that for a brand identity brief?

Starting with the marque, it was neither a logotype nor a symbol, it did the job of both as well as providing all necessary contact details. Breaking the number one rule of most visual identities, the marque was designed to be active and ever-changing. It could feature anything that raised a smile from an interest rate to a personalised image added by the customers themselves.

The decision to use magenta was an important one as colour can be a powerful branding device. The fact that no other bank was using any similar colour gave the brand full ownership within its sector.