American Savings Bank was at a transition point, ready to both refresh its brand and renovate its branch network. ASB had long prided itself on being locally owned and closely connected to every Hawai‘i community served. However, Anthology research studies revealed that the American Savings Bank name worked at cross-purpose as many state residents believed it to be a mainland institution. As a result, localizing the brand became an important goal.
We sought out a local symbol to act as an umbrella for the entire branding system. ASB embraced the recommendation – the broad green leaves of the kalo (taro) plant. Kalo was long cherished by Hawaiians as a symbol of growth, sustenance and nourishment. It was also the currency of ancient times, with a village’s wealth and standing determined by its abundance of kalo.
Through the study of photographs of kalo in its many varieties we noted that there is a discernable star shape within each leaf’s natural pattern of nourishing veins. Highlighted through design, this shape would signify the 50th star on the American flag that represents Hawai‘i. The white star upon a green kalo leaf upon a field of ASB’s traditional blue would become the logo.