Financial Conduct Authority looks to “streamline and simplify” with brand refresh

By Aimée McLaughlin

UK finance watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has revealed a brand refresh which looks to simplify its identity and make it more accessible for a wide audience.

Advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi Pro has worked on the new design, which includes an updated logo, as well as a new communication framework and visual identity toolkit.

The FCA has launched the brand refresh ahead of its first national advertising campaign on Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) later this year, and its move from Canary Wharf to Stratford, east London in 2018.

The financial regulator says the aim of the refresh is to come across as “open” and “transparent”, as well as to ensure that all of its audiences “know and understand” its role.

“The FCA felt there was a need to streamline and simplify the way that it presents information,” says Saatchi & Saatchi Pro design director Joe Luffmann.

“Spotlight on Conduct”

“It wanted to become more accessible, as part of a general move to put more of its communications online and to reflect the fact that a lot of people are reading its documents on their phones,” he adds.

While the previous design system incorporated several different styles, the new identity has been stripped back to one coherent style based on the concept of “spotlight on conduct”.

The new logo looks to emphasise this concept, and retains some of the features seen in the previous version such as the spotlight device seen on the letter “C”.

The full name of the regulator has also been kept within the logo, but has been made bigger so that it is more legible.

The wavy line effect seen in the previous iteration has been removed however, and a brighter, more vivid maroon has been chosen as the main colour.

£70,000 total cost

Saatchi & Saatchi Pro has also introduced a new documentary-inspired style of photography, which broadens the focus of the “spotlight” to some of the regulator’s key areas of work, such as pensions and fraud.

The regulator – which is paid for by a combination of annual levies and fines on the firms it regulates – has caused some controversy with the brand refresh, which cost almost £70,000 in total.

Chris Philp, the Tory MP for Croydon South, said the logo spend is “an absurd waste of public money” that “badly lets down the public”, reports The Telegraph.

Luffmann says: “What we’ve done for FCA is looked at communications framework and identity in the broadest possible sense. The logo is important but it represents less than 10% of the overall work delivered.”

The FCA will roll out the brand refresh over the next year as it updates its systems and templates during its move to Stratford. The new logo is already being used in its publications and on its website, but will not be used on printed materials such as letterheads or business cards until they run out.

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