SBI – When we think of banks (at least in India), the name State Bank of India is sure to come up in our minds with blue and white SBI logo. There’s rarely any household in India that would not have at least one bank account with this trusted centralized bank. Shortly called SBI instead of its long-form, State Bank of India, this bank has been around since 1955.
Do we know the State bank of India is the largest bank in India with a 23 % market share in assets? It is headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra. SBI is ranked 236th in the Fortune Global 500 list of the world’s biggest corporations of 2019 with revenue of 2.79644 trillion.
The bank descends from the Bank of Calcutta, founded in 1806, via the Imperial Bank of India, making it the oldest commercial bank in the Indian subcontinent. The Bank of Madras merged into the other two “presidency banks” in British India, the Bank of Calcutta and the Bank of Bombay, to form the Imperial Bank of India, which in turn became the State Bank of India in 1955. The Government of India took control of the Imperial Bank of India in 1955, with Reserve Bank of India (India’s central bank) taking a 60% stake, renaming it to the State Bank of India.
The first logo for the State Bank of India was adopted in 1955 showing a Banyan tree because of its strong roots and branches which are capable of developing and growing in all directions, representing growth, success, and stability. However, the logo was dropped as it invited criticism because of the fact that a Banyan tree does not let any other plant grow within its space.
However, do we know the story and meaning behind the new logo of one of the oldest banks in India? The interpretations around it are many but these three seem to be the most popular.
Unity and completeness
A popular interpretation of the logo is that the big blue circle suggests unity, completeness, the fullness of man’s being and his growing consciousness and continual expansion (of the bank), whereas the white part represents the “common man” as an important part of the bank.
Safety and Security
Another interpretation is that the white part in the SBI logo stands for a keyhole, indicating safety and security.
Inspired from the aerial view of Kankaria Lake
There’s also a certain section of people who think the designer of the SBI logo took inspiration from the aerial view of Kankaria lake.
These interpretations were put to rest when Shekhar Kamat, the designer of the SBI logo revealed the real meaning behind it on Quora by declaring,
“My thought was to design a simple logo. In those days, bank counters had round token with the hole. So the idea was to shape a logo as simple as the token. The round blue shape was to signify strength, protecting your wealth. The color blue was selected to match the Indian sunny blue sky. Of course, I didn’t write this (my inner idea) at the time of the presentation of this design. Certainly, inspiration didn’t come from Kankaria lake. Sorry to disappoint those who thought it did.”
With that, the confusion around the meaning of the SBI logo has now forever been cleared.
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