2012 Melbourne Design Awards

Key Dates


Project Overview

Nab is number 4 of the ‘big 4’ banks in this country. At times struggling to have a voice amongst very active competition, the bank redefined its vision and mapped out a strategy in a bold attack on the other 3. A desire to become one brand with one voice has been driving the business forward for the past 12-18 months. There have been significant implications on the visual identity for the brand and its associated businesses, as it attempts to visually and tonally bring its business streams into alignment. Principals were engaged to review the brand identity across the business, from the core retail brand through to Business and Private Wealth.

Project Commissioner


Project Creator



Martin Hopkins - Designer
Melissa Dale - Group Account Director
Laura Fitzroy-Kelly - Senior Account Manager

Project Brief

When NAB ‘broke-up’ with the other banks it signalled the start of a dramatic shift in the way the bank was prepared to do business. Having redefined its vision, the bank also needed to refresh its brand identity to bring to life the bold and challenging attitude in the market place, and align the diverse communication requirements across the business.

Project Need

A bold, fresh and confident identity system has been developed, focusing on the core colours of red black and white to glue the system together and create a cohesive brand identity. Flexibility with illustration and photography style allows different ideas to come to life without the brand becoming disconnected. Several unique tools were developed for different streams of the business in order allow them to communicate to their audience in a relevant way. An “un-banklike” tone of voice was introduced, to reinforce the bank’s desire to be different to the rest.

Design Challenge

The project had a number of challenges. The diverse range of audiences that the bank speaks to required a flexible, yet coherent design solution. We were required to consider the different types of communication - from ATL brand campaigns through to quick turn around and small budget retail campaigns. The response also needed to take into consideration corporate and institutional customer communications, Nab Private Wealth, Business customers, Agribusiness and Nab Broker (B2B) needs. It was also necessary to create a system that was easy to use for the diverse range of agencies, including the digital space. The system also influences National Australia Bank communications and Nab internal communications to its different businesses including MLC, JBWere, Ubank and BNZ.


In 2010 NAB became the first bank in Australia to achieve carbon neutrality. Since then they have set themselves challenging targets to achieve and maintain as part of a much wider environmental agenda. Last year NAB won the 2011 United National Association of Aust World Environment Day Awards for Sustainability Leadership (Large Organisation). New programs designed to improve efficiencies, and a dedicated approach to changing the way people work continue to drive NAB’s sustainability agenda. The brand identity is only a small part of this broader agenda. Having a cohesive identity system is aimed at creating shared tools and resources, being easier to create, manage and implement for NAB’s agencies and staff.

This award recognises traditional or digital visual representation of ideas and messages. Consideration given to clarity of communication and the matching information style to audience.
More Details