Every company has a corporate image that includes an emblem or logo. The Lion and Globe Design, a registered trademark, is one of Canada’s most recognized symbols. The symbol of a lion was brought to life as a mascot in the 1970s and to this day continues to make appearances at internal and company-sponsored events worldwide.
The original founders of the Merchants' Bank of Halifax were well-established maritime merchants. A modern three-mast sailing ship with an auxiliary engine, allegedly belonging to one of the bank's original directors, William Cunard, was a logical choice for the centerpiece of the bank's first corporate seal. In 1901, the seal was slightly revised to include the new corporate name "The Royal Bank of Canada."
1901 - 1962
The 1901 name change symbolized Royal Bank's national expansion and a new logo was designed accordingly. The focal point was the "Royal" name. The new seal incorporated a close facsimile of Britain's Royal Coat of Arms. The royal insignia lent the desired symbolism of tradition, strength and stability. This seal became Royal Bank's first publicly recognized symbol both at home and abroad.
1962 - 1974
In 1962, Royal Bank introduced its first logo - a new unique emblem, with a heraldic motif, that would be equally effective on top of a building or on a savings account passbook. Only two design elements were retained from the 1901 seal: the lion, a symbol of strength and authority, and the crown to carry out the "royal" symbolism. Added to the new logo was the globe to demonstrate Royal Bank's global presence. This particular version of the logo evolved into one of Canada's most identifiable corporate icons.
1974 - 2001
The "Lion and Globe" Design was modified in 1974 to simplify the image. In the new design, the primary lines remained and most of the lighter lines, which provided details such as the feathering on the lion's mane, were removed. The broad clean lines of this version gave a modern look to Royal Bank's corporate identity and were ideal for three-dimensional signage.
2001 - Present
In 2001, Royal Bank created a new master brand to further exemplify its evolution from a bank to a diversified financial services company. The new brand name "RBC Financial Group" (shortened to “RBC” in 2007) captured the diversity of its businesses.
With this new master brand name, the company introduced a new logo that continues to pay homage to tradition and honours its strong Canadian roots by retaining the traditional lion and globe. With a simplified design and brighter colours, the new logo design optimistically faces the future.
Behind The Design takes a look interesting tidbits in the world of design. From the history of identities to pictogenes, geons and the science of visual communication. Follow us as we explore those things you may never would have thought of.