The Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit is the national central agency in Malta that is responsible for the collection, collation, processing, analysis, and dissemination of information to combat money laundering and the funding of terrorism.
As a unit with such great importance for the country, FIAU needed to update its visual language and communications so that they fit into today’s digital landscape. The new identity needed to be adaptable, instantly recognisable but able to thrive and grow on the foundations of a solid brand.
DEFINE & EMPHASISE
One of the key elements that drove this rebranding exercise was the importance of emphasising integrity and transparency of FIAU as an entity. The level of responsibility of FIAU on both national and international scales was to be represented in an identity that communicated seriousness, sophistication, and trustworthiness.
The logotype represents the FIAU’s core values, bringing a see-through element that signifies transparency and openness through its stencil format. The spaces in between each bar leave room for public trust and contribution.
Attention to detail
The iris icon further supports the logotype by bringing an element of focus to the visual language of FIAU. The lines radiate inwards, with spaces in between each, representing sources of information that are investigated. At the centre, the lines narrow down, signifying the diligence and professionalism in the work carried out by the FIAU in its efforts to stop financial crime. The iris, being a circle, also introduces the theme of unity and continuity to the brand vocabulary, alluding to all-encompassing and extensive investigations carried out by an entity whose existence is based on the goal of bettering society through its fight against money laundering and the funding of terrorism.
The colour scheme chosen is a pairing of the achromatic spectrum with a bright gold colour. This palette is an integral part of the FIAU’s identity, as it represents the unit’s fundamental functions, and keeps all visual communication serious and sophisticated. Colours are often the first thing that meets the eye, and with this identity, our aim was to set the tone outright, creating an immediately striking visual system.
Look & Feel
Respect & authority
The stationery is a physical extension of the identity. Through the use of colour and brand elements, a visual system has been created, co-ordinating the various print items into one consistent image.
The business card was constructed in 3-ply, giving it a hefty weight and a solid feel. The idea of authority and dependability extends even to the point of first impressions: the business card.
The stock used for the letterhead had a grainy texture to it, also lending it some weight. The key feature, however, is the print of the iris on the back, which can be seen through the front as a faded watermark would be. This detail builds on to the idea of FIAU’s continuous presence and meticulous scrutiny.
Stickers were created in order to seal envelopes or mark certain specific items, and given one of the three main colours: black, grey, or bright gold. This allowed for the creation of an internal colour-coded system, whether items were distributed internally or externally.
The website presented a challenge in that it had to host a large quantity of information and resources. All the material had to be organised in a clear way, while still keeping true to the new identity.
True to the unit’s methodical nature, the website is organised into sections, where users can easily access any resources they need. Images and visual elements are used to support an intuitive navigation experience, and to help create visual breaks where needed.
The menu is the key component that links all the pages on the website together. Utilitarian visuals are combined with the iris icon, creating the notion of an all-encompassing tool within the website.
Our final thoughts and reflections
What we learned
Communicating transparency and impartiality
Arguably the biggest anchor of the FIAU identity is its commitment to showing transparency. The challenge lay in balancing this with a sense of humility, accessibility and approachability, all the while maintaining professionalism and sophistication.
Brand execution on all fronts
Creating a brand identity that works on all media, creates a connection on all touchpoints, and carries the same weight and visual fingerprint in every execution.
How to command respect and earn trust
For an entity of the FIAU’s calibre and nature, respect and trust are key. However, these are earned, and it was for this reason that we emphasised the importance of openness, highlighting it at every turn.
The FIAU of the future
Though the identity has been created, its development is far from over. An effective brand must continue to evolve and grow, both in execution and in output, as public expectations change and media develops. This is only possible when a brand’s foundations are solid, which allows for growth and expansion. The FIAU is an entity that is key to the country’s integrity, and the brand will continue to develop according to its needs. The FIAU of the future, and indeed, the present, will continue to be flexible and adaptable, while staying true to its roots.