The logo of the French credit company Cetelem has gone through more than five modifications.
Meaning and history
The earliest Cetelem logo was rich in detail. You could see a stylized money-box in the form of a house. Above the house, there was a large coin, which was “falling” through the slot in the roof. The lettering “Credit Cetelem” could be seen on the coin.
The logo conveyed its message in an apparent way. Both the house and what was inside showed some of the things for which the money borrowed from the company could be used. On the downside, it looked too cluttered for a logo – it was more of a picture than a real logotype.
The original palate was dominated by shades of yellow, which were inspired by the universal symbol of wealth, the gold.
The design went through a complete overhaul. The sleek, minimalist result was opposite to the original one.
Now, the logo only featured the word “Cetelem” in a simple yet distinctive type. While it was not overloaded with details, you could see several purely decorative elements (like the serifs on the top ends of the “c” and “l”).
The same type was used in the following Cetelem logo, although now the design was enriched by additional elements. The lettering went white, and a green square appeared in the background. Also, a red square appeared to the left, which added a vivid and dynamic accent.
The simple geometric shape at the background was replaced by a dynamic streamlined one. The gradient added even more implied motion. And yet, the updated design did not seem to perfectly fit a company dealing with finance.
The type was updated but its overall rounded style remained unchanged.
This time, the shape at the background was a simpler ellipse. A friendly anthropomorphized character appeared to the left. There was a red accent in the form of a stroke under the character’s feet.
The design has become sleeker, more modern and easier to grasp. The type was somewhat similar, yet it has grown softer, more rounded. The distinctive “t” with the shortened horizontal bar is still there.
As the logo is a typographical one, the font plays a major role in its success. The streamlined, soft glyphs have rounded corners adding a friendly touch.
Cetelem was established in 1953 in Paris, France, where it has been headquartered ever since. The company focuses in consumer credit, online credit and credit cards. The brand operates in thirty countries and boasts twenty seven million customers. Cetelem’s parent company is BNP Personal Finance.