Hello and welcome to this video Gareth here from TastyTuts.com In this video we’re going to look at the Citibank logo, learn a little bit about the logo and the designer behind it. So the the city back logo was designed in 2002, by an American designer by the name of Paula Scher, born in 1948. Paula Scher has developed identities, promotional material environmental graphics, packages and publication design for a broad range of clients including Microsoft, Bloomberg and Coca-Cola to name a few. Paula began her career as an art director in the nineteen seventies and eighties and has been a partner of the New York office of Pentagram since 1991. Paula Sher is well known for her landmark identity for the Public Theater in the mid 1990’s where Sher’s text heavy posters present a large amount of information in a dynamic and expressive way. Paula Sher’s work also includes the design of the windows 8 logo, the Highline logo and the Jazz at Lincoln Center logo. To quote Paula Sher’s Pentagram profile: Paula Sher straddles the line between pop culture and fine art in work. Iconic smart and accessible, her images have entered into the American vernacular.
So the citibank logo was designed in 2002 to replace the previous logo that had been used since 1978. It’s important to note here that Citibank is the consumer division of the financial service multinational Citigroup. The ‘Citi’ part of the logo had already been developed in 1998 to replace the previous Citigroup logos that had been used since 1980 through to 1998. To quote Paula Sher on the logo design: I drew the city logo after we had the first meeting on a napkin.
They had to merge travelers in the city. Travelers have umbrellas and ‘Citi’ is a word. The lowercase ‘t’ is an umbrella. You stick an ark on the top and you got it. And here is the very sketch Paula drew from that meeting. The Citibank logo is essentially a Wordmark. The world Citi is in a more heavier weight than the word bank and the word Citi has an ark shape element over the top to make the umbrella. Today when Citigroup is represented it is common to see just the ‘Citi’ Wordmark element alone with just the ark on the top.
So the initial idea of Citi was sketch on a napkin and refined and produced later in the studio and the word ‘Bank’ was used as part of it. The Wordmark is a Sans Serif typeface called Interstate designed by Tobias Frere-Jones and was released during the mid-to-late 1990’s. If you want to learn more and take a closer look at the font, there are some links in the description. So what do I think about this logo? Well the Citibank is a consumer division of Citigroup. I like how city has become part of the small system, it’s versatile Citi can work on its own when representing Citigroup, and bank can be added for its own distinction. I think this is a clear system and is nice for ownability and consistency. The logo itself is clean and modern, it’s distinctive and appropriate, however I don’t think the umbrella reference is immediately obvious, but then in this case I don’t think it has to be. It’s more on the subliminal side. I did not see it at first, but now I know, I see the umbrella all the time.
So what can we learn about this story? Well to quote Paula again on the Citi logo: It did not take long it happened in a second and it’s all over the world. How can it be that you talk to someone and it’s done in a second? But it is done in a second. It’s done in a second after 34 years. It’s done in a second after every experience, and every movie and after everything in my life that’s in my head. This is really interesting, from this we can learn that it is not always necessary to spend hours weeks or months on the design and development process.
Sometimes a great idea can indeed come quickly from collaboration and of course having a lot of experience. There are many approaches a designer can take to designing a logo, in this example we see a more logical, intellectual approach as opposed to a clever or abstract approach which may have taken longer to explore. As Paula Scher states after talking to the client the idea came to her in a second from this we can learn how powerful collaboration is, sketching and talking ideas through, listening and sharing thoughts with a potential client.
So if you’d like to learn more about Paula Scher, you can watch her speak and read more articles, links are in the description. There is quite a few interesting links there, I recommend you check it out! So that’s one of many logos and designers I have spoken about. If you enjoyed this video and want to watch more like it you can see more episodes in the: ‘Famous logos playlist’ link is in the description Well I hope you enjoyed this video if you did hit the like button on my facebook page. If you’d like to see more videos like this in future hit the subscribe button and you can also follow me on twitter at TastyTuts.
So until next time have fun guys, and I’ll see you in the next video!.
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