The leading bank in Greece. The bank of banks.
A bank with a retail network that, in its prime, exceeded 1700 branches and 2000 ATM’s in 8 countries. A bank that has acquired a total of 22 banks. A bank that has entrusted Kouros with more than 20 of its major countrywide signage projects in a relationship that, after 25 years, is stronger than ever.
Back in the day
Piraeus Bank was founded in 1916 but it was only after its privatization in 1991 that it started shaping its current form. The 90’s were a decade of acquisitions for Piraeus Bank. Among the targets were important retail banking networks such as Natwest Greece, Xios Bank and the Bank of Macedonia & Thrace. By 2000, Piraeus Bank had evolved to one of the Greek majors in retail banking, with subsidiaries in Albania, Bulgaria, Romania and the UK.
Piraeus Bank in the 90’s
The first retail identity of the modern Piraeus Bank. Our relationship with the bank started in 1995. In the 90’s we worked on the branch and ATM signage of Piraeus Bank’s network and the rebranding of the networks it later acquired.
A nationwide bank that was founded in 1919. Kouros was the signage partner of XiosBank up until its merger with Piraeus Bank in 1998.
National Westminster Bank
The Greek subsidiary of UK banking giant NatWest was acquired by Piraeus Bank in 1999. Kouros was the bank’s preferred signage supplier working on the retail and architectural branding projects of NatWest’s branches and administrative buildings.
An important milestone in Piraeus Bank’s history is the adoption of a new brand identity: the blue and yellow logotype paired with the ancient trireme vessel that symbolizes ancient Greece’s international expansion and trade growth with the perpetual elements of the Greek sea and sun. Kouros applies the new identity to the bank’s growing retail network. Indoors and outdoors.
A retail visual identity so successful that it was used for more than 12 years. Thanks to a fully illuminated yellow background, coupled with the contrasting blue logo, Piraeus Bank’s retail points enjoyed increased branch impact and brand recognition, both at daytime and at night.
Store facade and ATM branding
The range of signage materials used to brand the facades of Piraeus Bank’s branches included window graphics, illuminated pylons, flag signs and ATM enclosures.
For administrative buildings or when an area’s architectural standards did not permit the use of illuminated signs, we developed a range of opaque, neutral-colored signs made of premium materials such as stainless steel and anodized aluminium.
The bank’s expansion programme became even more aggressive after 2000. Among the highlights of this period were a strategic local partnership with ING in 2002 and acquisitions of retail banking networks in Bulgaria, Serbia, Egypt, Ukraine and Cyprus between 2005-2008. And after each deal was complete, Kouros was there to rebrand the newly-acquired networks.
A concept first introduced by Piraeus Bank, Green Banking is a range of banking products for environmentally-friendly investments such as renewable energy and energy-efficient appliances. The pilot store opened its doors in early 2008 and between 2010-2011 the concept was rolled out to the Greek network. Apart from the exterior rebranding, we created branded “shop-in-shops” in each branch using a combination of printed and cast graphics, flex-face light fixtures, decorations and literature stands.
The main sign’s acrylic face was upgraded with the new Green Banking graphics: a matrix of translucent vinyl pixels, carefully laminated together by hand to form the pattern.
We used a mix of merchandising materials to transform the bank’s interior and create consumer-friendly “Green Banking” corners.
CNC-cut, acrylic glass panels were installed over the office partitions. Every element was rebranded to advertise the bank’s initiative.
Another round of acquisitions
Between 2012-2013 Piraeus Bank acquires 7 more retail banks, including Millennium Bank, ATE Bank, Bank of Cyprus, Geniki Bank and CPB Bank. In 2013, the bank unveils its new identity and sets out to unify the new networks under a single brand. Kouros develops the new signage and is selected as the bank’s preferred partner for the roll-out. Together with the interim projects, during this period we complete a total of 10 rebranding projects.
The new CI
A minimal design with a lot of tech inside.
Following the look and feel guidelines of the new brand identity, we develop minimalist – yet striking – signage elements for all customer touchpoints that enhanced brand visibility both at street level and above. Despite their visual simplicity, there’s a lot of tech under the hood: using self-cleaning, PE-coated aluminium sheets, high-output illumination, LED-optimized acrylics and high-tolerance drivers, the new Piraeus Bank signs are brighter, look better and last longer.
A minimal, premium design for another important element of the retail bank: the ATM. A clean, yellow backdrop, a polished steel receipt bin, a privacy cover made of frosted acrylic and a low-volume luminaire are all installed together to create the bank’s new generation of ATM surrounds.
The Romanian network was completely re-imaged by our subsidiary, Artius SRL. To economize on branding costs, part of the network was rebranded using our stock of decommissioned signs from previously-closed branches, that were maintained and retrofitted. The entire project was completed in under one month.
Signage and advertising at the street level are just as important as the store’s main sign. Our solutions include stainless steel channel letters, illuminated poster displays, window graphics and patterned, sandblasted films.
Retail banking 3.0
After the bank’s vast retail network of 1350 branches in Greece and Romania was rebranded, Piraeus Bank engaged Kouros to develop the prototype for a new, ambitious concept: Greece’s first ever digital branch. Designed by DINN!, the “E-Branch” concept combines cutting-edge communication and automation technologies with a contemporary design to create a fully-automated branch that is also warm and humane. We applied this new concept to key branches across Greece and subsequently rolled-out the “Hub”, “Spoke” and “Personal Banking” concepts across Greece.
Remote cashier area
The remote cashier technology allows the customer to communicate with a trained cashier via a video call and perform almost all the transactions of a conventional cashier desk. Our solutions for this area include suspended acrylic signs and wall-mounted directories.
Each digital branch operates a range of automated transaction machines that serve as the physical extension of the remote cashier.
Digital signage displays are mounted on the branch’s walls and windows to communicate the products and services of Piraeus Bank and guide the customers. Kouros manufactures the digital signage stands and enclosures, information signage and wall graphics, as well as literature stands for leaflets and brochures.