National Bank of Greece
Transforming the oldest commercial bank in Greece into a modern player ready to take on the challenges of the new banking landscape.
Founded in 1841, the National Bank of Greece, is the country’s oldest commercial bank, and one of the largest financial groups in South East Europe, with presence in 8 countries. Over the past decade Kouros has helped NBG apply its new visual identity across its European network and develop and roll-out the signage and branding elements for its concept branches.
The previous identity
Even before its rapid international expansion in Europe and Turkey, the National Bank of Greece’s network was the largest in the country with more than 500 branches and 1400 ATM’s. For many years however, the bank used an outdated visual identity which did not help capture the younger demographic.
Retail Branch Sign
The new identity
In 2008, allen international, one of the leading global design consultancies, was commissioned to re-design the bank’s branches and create a new experience that appealed to both its younger and older customer base. Kouros was appointed to mass produce and install the new signage, indoors and outdoors. Even though, during the implementation of the rebranding, our Greek factory was completely destroyed by a fire on May 2009, the project was delivered on schedule.
The bank’s new visual identity range includes street monoliths, pole-mounted and wall-mounted flag signs and the branch’s central sign in two different forms: a LED-lit sign with 3D letters for the standard retail branches or edge illuminated, channel letters for administrative and landmark buildings.
The ATM merchandising set of the NBG Group branches consists of a lightweight aluminium canopy and receipt bin, both branded with the bank’s colors, frosted acrylic privacy screens and an illuminated sign over the teller unit.
We use NBG branch windows as branding and advertising surfaces by installing illuminated poster displays, campaign graphics and sandblasted window films, CNC-cut with the bank’s signature patterns.
The branch’s front desk is the customers’ first touch point inside the bank. A dedicated clerk greets the clients, answers basic account queries and directs them to the appropriate desk.
Suspended signage is installed throughout the branch to help customers identify the appropriate consultancy desk. Despite the signs’ minimal design, inside the bespoke aluminium profile we have installed LED strips to illuminated the signboard for enhanced clarity.
The merchandising solutions we have used in consultancy desks include supersized wall graphics, advertising poster displays and frosted films that are applied on partitions to add privacy to the office spaces.
Kouros and our domestic subsidiaries in the Balkans manufactured and rolled out the new, localized signage and interior retail identity of the international branch networks of the NBG Group in Albania, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria.
United Bulgarian Bank, which resulted from the merger of 22 state-owned commercial banks in Bulgaria, was acquired by the NBG Group and currently has a network of 200 branches.
Vojvođanska Banka is one of the largest commercial banks in Serbia with countrywide coverage.
Banca Romaneasca was acquired in 2003 by the NBG Group and operates a network of more than 100 retail branches and 5 business centers across Romania.
NBG developed the Premium Banking concept, to offer its high net-worth clientele a faster, discreet, personalized service and bespoke banking solutions. Kouros was selected to develop and deploy the signage for both the dedicated Premium branches and the personal banking units within existing locations.
3D letters with brass faces or channel letters manufactured entirely of brass, are used as the main identifiers on administrative and landmark buildings.
Interior directional signage is made of minimal, premium materials such as anodized aluminium.
Sandblasted films are applied on indoor glass partitions to create an intimate and private environment in office spaces. By cutting the films according to the bank’s graphic patterns, the partitions blend in with the remaining interior design elements and add continuity to the brand.
Based on NBG’s electronic banking platform, branded the “i-bank”, allen international designed the automated i-bank concept store, which received the prestigious Iron A’ Design Award. Kouros manufactures and installs the signage elements of the i-bank network countrywide. The range includes the store’s main sign and portal, digital signage and illuminated wall panels and the furniture and desk lighting.