Nationwide releases biggest rebrand in over 30 years

Working with New Commercial Arts, the updated identity draws upon the building society’s heritage, and will be rolled out to its network of 605 branches

New Commercial Arts has helped Nationwide “modernise” its look with its most significant rebrand since 1987. In a bid to demonstrate the value of being “member-owned, as opposed to being owned by shareholders”, the move also ties in with the building society’s new promise of being ‘A Good Way to Bank’.

The updated logo is still “distinctly Nationwide” but adopts a more dynamic look to be a “modern challenger to traditional banks”. The Nationwide house icon has been simplified to geometric shapes, and NCA has created a custom version of Founders Grotesk.

Another big change has also been switching to a lowercase ‘n’ to help the icon flow into the wordmark, as well as removing the words ‘Building Society’. Elsewhere, the typography has been switched from Cabernet to Editorial New, a sans series reminiscent of the typography used in Nationwide’s advertising during the 1980s.

The rebrand also sees an overhauled colour palette, using a deeper shade of red and blue for accessibility reasons, and adds a set of secondary hues, “inspired by the colours that make up community life in the UK”, such as the green of local parks, blue heritage plaques and red post boxes.

While some online Twitter critics have drawn comparisons with Futurebrand’s 2016 designs for NatWest, Nationwide’s focus seems to be on standing apart from growing competitors such as neobanks like Revolut and Monzo, which exist solely online and through apps.

Each one of Nationwide’s 605 branches will be updated with the new branding and have an overall refresh to “reaffirm its ongoing commitment to offer face-to-face service and financial support for its members”, with the society’s own research suggesting customers value the presence of local, physical branches. This message is then reiterated through a comedic new ad campaign, starring Dominic West.