Pentagram gives banking a fresh face in Virgin Money rebrand

Following its merger with CYBG, Virgin Money’s new identity follows in the footsteps of design conscious fintech brands including Monzo and Starling

There has been a movement among traditional financial institutions to adopt a more human persona in recent years – largely thanks to younger, cooler challenger banks like Monzo and Starling snapping at their heels.

Recent examples of this shift in tone include Natwest’s launch of millennial-friendly digital banking service Bó, and First Direct’s new brand positioning that focuses on financial wellness.

It is in this context that Virgin Money unveils its new brand identity, which comes off the back of its merger with CYBG plc, formed of Clydesdale Bank, Yorkshire Bank and B products and services.

Virgin Money approached Pentagram’s Luke Powell, Jody Hudson-Powell and Domenic Lippa to create a fresh look to go with its new proposition, as a brand that shares Virgin’s core values but happens to be in banking, as opposed to a financial brand that happens to be part of Virgin.

The new identity looks to move the brand firmly away from the often faceless, corporate look favoured by many financial services companies, and reflect a customer-focused approach to banking.

The design team created a bespoke mono-linear wordmark, with the wider Virgin Money headline font family being built from this geometric logo.

The Virgin Money ʹMʹ and its distinctive loop is a key feature of the wordmark, and a stacked version of the logo is used for applications where users are already familiar with the brand, such as in stores, on bank cards or existing customer communications.

A bespoke typeface was created by NaN’s Luke Prowse and comprises two distinct cuts, Virgin Money Sans and Virgin Money Loop, to allow the brand to adjust its visual tone of voice.

“The overall construction is a balance of geometric curves, nuanced humanist forms, and hard edges and angles, creating a visual form that references Virgin Money’s functional and pragmatic side while embodying its people-centred approach,” says Pentagram.

The instantly recognisable Virgin red is used as the brand’s primary colour, alongside a secondary colour palette of bright blue, purple and white.

Pentagram also created a distinct and and more sophisticated visual language for its business banking sub-brand, Virgin Money Business. It features a reduced usage of the looped typeface, a lighter version of the Virgin Money pattern and a more streamlined colour palette of charcoal and bright lime.