Rebranding the European retail network of the world’s most global bank.
A leap from nationwide to Europe-wide. A project that transformed our business. Not just in terms of geography and order volume but also in terms of our internal processes, quality procedures and communication protocols.We had been Citibank’s principal signage partner in Greece since 1988. And in 2003, the United States’ largest bank invited us to rebrand its network of branches across Europe.
1988 – 2002
Only a few short years after Kouros was founded, we were selected by one of the world’s largest financial services corporations to work on their local signage projects. A small retail network at first, Citibank’s footprint increased rapidly in the 90’s. Kouros was there to help the bank grow on the high street.
Citibank in the 80’s
Essentially the first logo of Citibank, it was designed in 1976 by leading design agency Anspach Grossman Portugal of New York. Although the logo was used until 2002, the signage design of Citi’s branches changed form a few times. Pictured above is a Citibank retail point in the 80’s. Courtesy of the Kouros digitized archives.
Citibank in the 90’s
The second retail identity of Citibank that we worked on. In the 90’s Citibank further increased its presence nationwide by opening new retail points and installing off-site ATM’s. Providing a full range of interior and exterior signage solutions, Kouros rebranded the existing branches and branded the newly built ones for the entire lifetime of this visual identity.
From early on, pioneering brands like Citibank used the full array of our branding solutions: indoor and outdoor signage, graphics, merchandising elements and stands.
The evolution of the ATM
The weapon of choice of the world’s largest credit card issuer could be no other than the automatic teller machine. Over the years, Citibank invested heavily in upgrading its technology, increasing its ATM network and – with the help of Kouros – improving the overall customer experience through better signage and branding hardware.
In the 80’s
Citibank was one of the first banks to introduce ATM’S in the Greek market. And we were the first company to brand them.
In the 90’s
The exact same machine. The exact same location. A different decade.
2002 and beyond
The same ATM rebranded once again after the introduction of Citibank’s new, contemporary identity.
Branding the world’s largest financial services firm
In 1998 Citicorp and Travelers Group merged to create Citigroup, the largest financial company in the world. The new entity approached leading design agency, Pentagram, to create the corporate identity. Legend has it that the new logo was created in under 5 minutes by influential graphic designer Paul Scher and was presented to Citi’s leadership as a napkin sketch during the introductory meeting. A few years later, Citibank was ready to roll out its new retail concept.
The new sign
The European network was the first globally to sport Citibank’s new outdoor retail identity. The main element of the new fascia signage system is a curved light box with internal and halo illumination.
In 2002 Kouros was invited to Citibank’s European signage tender. After a long process of bidding and technical evaluations, we were selected as the signage supplier for Citi’s major European markets, including France, Belgium, Italy and Spain.
In Greece we implemented extensive facade upgrades that included building digitally-printed building vinyl wraps, ATM signage and window merchandising displays.
Our work for Citi is not limited to signage for branch facades. Indoors, we apply two interior identities designed by Pentagram to create two distinct environments: the “Blue” environment for the retail areas of the branch and the “Citigold” environment for the private banking section.
We manufactured and installed a range of enclosures and signs for Citibank’s different types of ATM’s for indoor, outdoor and off-site use.
A blue brand wall with a backlit, channel letter logo is installed behind the teller desks in every commercial branch.
Branch interiors include suspended lifestyle banners, that are used in the consultancy desk area as both decorative and privacy elements, literature stands and a range of wall-mounted and freestanding merchandising materials.
A lot more than a retail bank
Citibank may be one of the largest consumer banks in the world but, with its operations encompassing the entire spectrum of financial services, its branding, signage and merchandising needs extend beyond the confines of retail design.
Citi HQ Signage
Even though Citibank’s iconic curved fascia sign is highly effective in a retail environment, a different range of signs was developed to brand the group’s administrative buildings, business centers and wealth management offices.
The backlit sign installed on the blue backdrop in retail settings, is placed on a warm-toned wooden wall in office and private banking environments.
The spaces reserved for Citi’s high net worth clientele have been furnished and decorated with elements with subtler colors, elegant lines and luxurious materials to create a sense of exclusivity and detail.