One of America’s most celebrated graphic designers, Milton Glaser once said there are three responses to a piece of design.
“Yes, no and WOW.”
Well, WOW is likely an apt response to the Australian banking watchdog, ASIC’s decision to spend around $100,000 on a tiny branding tweak.
First observed by the ABC, the branding changes appear to be a different font and slightly different text positioning.
Can you spot the difference?
According to the ABC, the corporate regulator began working on the design weeks after the Banking Royal Commission was announced in 2017.
It told creative agency Folk that it needed to be “respected. Not loved”.
“Strong. Accountable. Firm/fair.”
“Finger-on-the-pulse. Contemporary. Informed.”
“Vigilant. Transparent. Responsive.”
The ABC reported that creative development cost $43,000 and $60,000 was spent on design and asset development.
And it’s caused a stir on social media:
— Ignoble Jim Houghton (@JimRHoughton) February 12, 2019
$100k for ASIC to change a font an make their logo smaller. You could’ve legit done this on Fiverr: https://t.co/SwqCnT0su5
— chendo (@chendo) February 12, 2019
Instead of protecting consumers & regulating the industry ASIC wasted taxpayers money focusing on themselves! @ScottMorrisonMP and @JoshFrydenberg need to make significant staff changes now. https://t.co/350JI8rO7I
— Keegan J. Sard (@keegansard) February 12, 2019
— Bruce Campbell (@nvisionthing_au) February 12, 2019
ASIC should have changed their logo instead. After the RBC it just looks like a game of Tetris where the regulator moves to accomodate big banks’ interests.
— Matt Karger (@Kargs84) February 12, 2019
— David Hutchison (@dhdt) February 12, 2019
So rather than tracking the bad guys in Corporate Australia , the peeps at ASIC spend their days tracking and signing off on subtle changes to the ASIC brand 👇 Yep, totally understand now #auspol #BankingRC #LetsGetFairDinkum https://t.co/3xpsLPPtuq
— Vito Carrozzo 🚶🏻♂️ (@VitoCarrozzo) February 11, 2019
Royal Commission condemnation
It comes after the Royal Commission condemned ASIC as toothless against corporate misconduct that saw banks charge fees to dead customers, charge fees for no service and push customers into more expensive products.
Commissioner Kenneth Hayne said this misconduct went “unpunished” by ASIC, as it sought to negotiate rather than pealise.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg echoed the Commissioner’s statements.
“This is clearly unacceptable and cannot continue,” Frydenberg said. “The findings here go to a culture of negotiation rather litigation.
“Too often the regulator would seek a negotiated outcome rather than take the next step to litigate and make them face court. Perpetrators got off too lightly.”
ASIC chair James Shipton said he welcomed the insights and that ASIC had already begun to address its problems.
“The royal commission report identified ASIC’s enforcement culture as the focus of change needed at ASIC,” he said in an official response.
“This focus accords with ASIC’s change agenda, that has included the adoption of our ‘why not litigate?’ enforcement stance, the initiation of our Internal Enforcement Review and the enhancement of our governance structures.”
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