Illustration by Pratik Bhide for 1 Finance Magazine

We know that a lot goes into building a brand — after all, it’s not just about what we aim to achieve, but also what people are likely to perceive. Establishing a strong and lucid identity, and weaving it into the symbols that represent us, became an important part of this journey. As with everything we do at 1 Finance, we kept our members at the heart of it. We wanted people to know, at a glance, what we stood for. 

It helped of course that, right from the outset, we knew who we were speaking to. Our members are people who are well aware of the inadequacies of India’s personal finance advisory space but might not know that an alternative exists. Our logo introduces us as just that — a platform that helps you hold a mirror to yourself, to better understand not just the financial world around you, but also where you stand within it. This reflection gives a clear picture of how you deal with money, which we can use to personalise our advice in the interest of your well-being. 

The colours of our logo — black and white — are a nod to the transparency we operate with and the unbiased nature of the advice that our experts offer. Depending on how you look at it, the shape of the logo might remind you of a roof, a cube, a reflection, or something else entirely — but the message it is designed to convey is the same: that of bringing your scattered finances together and presenting a holistic, accurate view of your financial standing. It’s also a subtle reference to envisioning your future financial self — more secure, put together and fully realised — and an acknowledgment of the multidimensionality of our finances.

With every brand collateral we ideated upon, we were conscious of setting ourselves apart from the typical tropes of visual communication used by most financial services companies. We decided to steer away from predominantly using the colour blue, and avoided adopting icons of wealth and prosperity that people typically associate with financial institutions. While we have developed a distinct, refreshing visual language, we have also been mindful of our future needs to embrace a diversity of styles and references — from illustration to typography and beyond — based on the medium we are designing for and the message we wish to convey. 

Before finalising our logo and brand identity, we went through several iterations and versions of visual identities, and in the process, realised that it was essential to work with people who could resonate with what we are trying to build at 1 Finance — an honest and responsible financial ecosystem that serves the interests of all its stakeholders. This is what allowed us to find collaborators — like Studio Paperheads for concept design, Designcoz for our UI/UX design, and The Paper Planes Agency for editorial design with the 1 Finance Magazine — who could align themselves with our vision and help us visibly distinguish our brand within the segment, instead of repurposing an identity that is easy to emulate, compartmentalise and homogenise.

We want people who discover us to experience delight in every sense — even through what they see. To us, creating impact through visuals is about chipping away at what is unnecessary and leaving behind just enough to pique your curiosity. We wanted our identity to show that personal finance doesn’t have to be boring or inspire a sense of dread; it can be made interesting, accessible and relevant to you.

When we began, we were more aware of what we didn’t want than what we did — and that’s what guided us. We knew what we were definitely not, and we were keen to define — as simply as possible — who we are. We’re happy with where taking this approach has led us — we believe that it is an identity that’s credible, but also relatable. It’s not possible for a single symbol or icon to represent everything that an organisation stands for, and our brand’s identity continues to evolve as we grow. But just as with good financial advice, we hope that it remains timeless and meaningful.

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