Luminor - FutureBrand


Creating a new banking brand for the Baltics

Banking brands take decades to establish and build. Get it right, however, and they can prosper for centuries. So we approached the task of creating a new banking brand for the Baltics as the opportunity to build a brand with the substance to endure.


Since gaining their independence in the 90s, the Baltic peoples have preferred big Nordic banks that are solid and stable enough to withstand the economic ups and downs that continue to haunt the collective memory in this region.

Two of these banks, Nordea and DNB, decided to buck this trend, merging their Baltic operations to create an independent, regional bank focussed wholly on Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

As their strategic brand partner, our challenge had three distinct dimensions. We needed to create a new brand that:

  1. Possessed sufficient appeal to retain the two founding banks’ existing customers.
  2. Offered a fresh alternative to the bigger banks to attract competitors’ customers.
  3. Engaged and united both workforces with a common sense of purpose.


The first place to start with any merger is inside the two parent organisations, in order to understand the prevailing culture, ethos and distinctive character of each.

What we found was a committed and engaged workforce determined to deliver a better, more premium banking experience more closely attuned to the genuine needs of its customers. At the same time, we found there was immense pride in what Nordea and DNB stand for: their stability, ethical responsibility and professionalism.

So the strategy that emerged was built around these two core ingredients: an ambitious commitment to building a better tomorrow, while retaining the established strengths of Nordic banking.

We then encoded this in the bank’s new name, Luminor. ‘Lumi’ speaks of the light and optimism that guides us as we move forward. While ‘Nor’ is the stable base of the bank’s Nordic roots.


This strategic platform enabled us to create a visual identity and system around the brand that immediately stands out in the category and establishes the brand’s essential cues.

Its distinctive colour palette is utilised to help clarity the three arms of its banking offer (consumer, business, private) and convey high quality cues. Its imagery helps to convey the light and optimism is integral to the bank’s purpose, while the typographic and design system binds it all together into a distinctive, confident and contemporary brand that can stand the test of time.

In 2018, Blackstone acquired a majority stake in Luminor for €1 billion, representing the largest majority stake acquisition of a universal bank by private equity in the last decade globally.