Ahli United banking on Intergraphic identity

Intergraphic has created a six-figure brand identity for recently formed Middle East bank, Ahli United, which went live on Monday.

Last week the consultancy won a five-figure project to produce an annual report for First Islamic (DW 27 September).

Ahli United Bank, based in Bahrain, was formed late last year through the merger of Al-Ahli Bank in Bahrain and the United Bank of Kuwait in London.

The group acquired the Commercial Bank of Bahrain in May, when Intergraphic was appointed to design and implement a retail identity for the bank’s Bahraini operations.

The identity features a gold and turquoise ‘pearl’ motif incorporating Arabic calligraphy, which is a modern touch for an Arabic bank, says Intergraphic creative director Adam Knapp. Bahrain is famous for its pearls.

‘The client wanted a Western “look”. It’s sought to distance itself from the traditional colourways of financial institutions in Bahrain, which often mimic the red and white of the national flag,’ he says.

The bank’s name is written in gold Arabic, and the sans-serif frutiger font is used for the English rendering in turquoise. The branding will be applied to external bank facades, internal signage, printed material, including product literature and stationery, and websites.

Visa and Mastercard credit cards feature both the gold and turquoise colourways.

Two teams of designers handled the creative work, based in both London and Bahrain. The work was signed off in Bahrain.

It is the first stage of Ahli United Bank’s strategy for regional and international expansion, so the identity will only be applied to 13 branches and 17 cash machines for now, says Intergraphic managing director Mark Sutherland.

Intergraphic won the work following a credentials pitch between unnamed consultancies in Bahrain and Dubai.

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