Founded in 1798, Bank Leu was at the time of collaboration Swtizerland’s oldest bank. The favored bank of the creative set, the bank counted artists, architects, and designers amongst its core clients—a decidedly different base from most competitors. The bank decided to shift focus from public to private banking, and tasked Studio Baeriswyl to craft its new positioning as well as communications material.
Bank Leu was not just any bank. With such a particular client base, we needed to make sure that the bank’s communications was more than skin deep. In essence, Bank Leu was and needed to be more that just a financial institution—it needed to represent a particular type of culture in itself.
Our defined position for the bank was "Cultivated Private Banking." Drawing on the bank's history, heritage, and clientele, "Cultivated Private Banking" not only communicates the now-private business focus, but reflects the bank's roots in culture and the arts. To convey this, our communications campaign centered on a tangible icon-the bank's historic, landmark banking hall. Both a physical and symbolic heart of the institution, the hall becomes the central element that ties together disparate communications. As an iconic image, the hall's various elements are highlighted to convey different messages: stars on the ground to illustrate the bank's Fund Star program, for example, or the pendant lights to communicate "seeing alternatives." As a space, the hall now hosts art exhibitions, concerts, and VIP events, programming meant to cement visual impressions seen in print. Brand communications extended to olfactory identity, with a custom scent developed for the bank, and in interior design, where we designed newer branches in Geneva and Luxembourg. By connecting history, positioning, visual identity, and programming with a fil rouge, we created a cohesive, coherent brand that leaves lasting impression.