The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ is the largest bank in Japan having survived the Japanese asset bubble without a major government bailout. But they had a problem. As an old-school, conservative institution, they were not attracting younger customers, a key to long-term competitiveness. MUFJ, as it is now known, hired CIA and The Brand Architect Group to rejuninate their image over a series of projects, starting with a suite of credit and debit cards aimed at different principal customer groups. One set of these cards contained pioneering hand vein recognition for enhanced security. This was followed by the completion of an intensely modern flagship branch in the fashionable Shibuya neighborhood of Tokyo, designed with partner Neil Denari. CIA and Denari went on to design a number of high-design private banking centers throughout Japan.
Results: MUFJ is a giant among international banking institutions with total assets over 2.5 trillion dollars and over 11,000 employees worldwide. We believe we contributed to this astonishing success by helping the bank refocus on emerging and core retail banking customers.
This was an all-hands-on-deck collaboration between the Los Angeles and Tokyo offices along with talented designers, Neil Denari, architecture and interior design, and John Maeda, designer of the stripe motif on the card top right.
Campaign Notes: What is often not understood is the enormous amount of work that goes into research, conceptualizing and design development for major projects, like the new credit card suite for Tokyo Mitsubishi Bank. We produced nearly 100 development studies, like those shown below. Of these, only a few would be accepted and manufactured.