Deutsche Bank’s logo – one of the world’s most iconic financial brands – today celebrates its 40th anniversary.
Created by the late German designer Anton Stankowski, who described the visual as a symbol for “growth in a stable environment,” the striking “slash in the square” logo has remained virtually untouched since its launch to the public in a newspaper advertisement on April 25, 1974.
The logo was born as a result of a management board decision in 1972 to commission eight well-known graphic artists to create a modern logo that represented Deutsche Bank’s increasing product range and growing international presence. The task was to find a logo that, regardless of alphabet and language, could be used globally, and replace a number of other logos previously used by the Bank.
Explaining the thinking behind his creation, Stankowski said: “The visualizing motif is the polarity between solid base and a future-oriented dynamism. The staggered diagonal seems to be symmetrical, but is actually asymmetrical. The sloping bar is arranged in such a way that it does not divide the square diagonally. That is what is so special about it. The attention value of the graphic arrangement consists in this unexpected visual shift.”
Deutsche Bank announced its new logo to employees via its staff magazine and to its shareholders and clients at the Annual Press Conference, supported by an external advertising campaign.
While there have been changes to the way the logo was presented over the years, its essence has remained consistent with its original design. In 2005, a “travelling logo” campaign was introduced which brought to life a 3D version of the iconic image. The relaunch of the Bank’s Brand and Visual identity in 2010 aligned the logo more closely with the original concept, placing the logo centre stage as a stand-alone element, as originally proposed by Stankowski.
Anamorphoses of the logo form the central element of the Bank’s award winning BrandSpace, a unique forum launched in 2011 which invites members of the public to experience the Deutsche Bank brand. Based at the Bank’s Frankfurt offices, the innovative space has attracted over 50,000 visitors since opening its doors.
Today, Deutsche Bank’s logo is more than just a sign. It has become a globally recognized symbol which is a timeless piece of minimal art, symbolizing the Bank’s standing as one of the leading client-centric global universal banks.