Societe Generale logo history and meaning
ing time

Societe Generale logo history and meaning

Societe Generale Logo

Depending on where you’re located in the world, you may have encountered the Societe Generale bank logo before. One of the most modern and eye-catching emblems in the financial landscape, this logo immediately establishes the company as one with strength, power, and authority. 

Despite an incredibly long lifespan, the Societe Generale corporation has only changed its logo a handful of times. This tells us the organization has been particularly cautious with ensuring it conveys the right message with its brand image. 

Like many bank logos, the Societe Generale emblem aims to differentiate the group from its competitors and capture the hearts and minds of consumers. 

If you’ve ever wondered where the Societe Generale bank logo originated or why it uses the bold colors of red, white, and black, you’re in the right place. Today, we will look at this phenomenal brand’s history and how it has evolved over the years.

Is Societe Generale a bank? An introduction

Otherwise known as SocGen in English, Societe Generale is a French financial services company, first launched in 1864. The organization currently stands as the third-largest bank in France by total assets. It lags just behind BNP Paribas and the Credit Agricole company.

Despite not being the largest bank France has to offer, Societe Generale is still an impactful organization in the financial space. It’s the 18th largest bank in the world and the 6th largest in Europe. It’s also considered a systemically important bank.

From 1966 to 2003, this company was also known as one of the “Old Three” major banks in the commercial space.

Initially, the organization was founded by financiers and industrialists during the Second Empire. By 1970, the corporation had 47 branches throughout France, and it also set up a permanent London office in 1871.

Initially, the bank relied mostly on its own resources for banking and financial operations.

Throughout the years, Societe Generale has gone through several periods of growth and decline caused by the changing economic landscape. Despite some serious hurdles on the road to evolution, the bank has emerged successfully in recent years, with a phenomenal global presence.

Which country owns Societe Generale?

In 1945, the French government took a much larger role in the French banking landscape, and France’s four largest deposit banks were nationalized. Societe Generale’s stockholders had their assets mostly bought out by the government, so the bank could become state-controlled.

Today, credit institution is governed and managed by French law.

Societe Generale bank logo history

Despite a history spanning more than 150 years, the Societe Generale bank has maintained a relatively consistent brand image for most of its lifespan. The company has only made a few changes to its logo over the years.

Initially, the organization started life with a simple monogram logo, which just featured the letters “SG.”

There was also a short period in the 1960s to 1980s when the organization used an emblem called the Logo Pasquier in some of its branding assets. However, there are only two core Societe Generale logos most people are familiar with today.

Societe Generale Logo

1990- 2011

The first primary logo used by Societe Generale was a simple but eye-catching block emblem featuring the colors black, red, and white. These are the same colors the company uses for its branding assets today.

This was the first recognizable emblem used to highlight the organization’s unique personality. It featured a single square divided into two halves.

On the top half of the square, we see a bright red background, with the word Societe written in block, sans-serif font, in black. On the bottom half of the square, the background is black, with the word “Generale” written in white. There’s also a white line between the two words, separating them.

Societe Generale Logo


In 2011, Societe General updated its logo to focus on modernity and legibility. While the previous emblem was bold, it wasn’t particularly easy on the eyes. The new design refined the logo while maintaining a lot of its original elements.

We still see the red and black square, although the red shading is slightly more muted here. The square also features the same iconic white line in the middle, though it’s a lot thicker than it was previously.

The company’s name has been shifted outside of the square entirely to sit on the right-hand side in the much larger, clearer font.

The wider, rounded lettering of the wordmark balances perfectly with the geometric emblem. The changes made to the logo here make it appear far more sophisticated and professional.

What does the Societe Generale logo mean?

The Societe Generale logo is simple but eye-catching. The red and black components are connected to color psychology

Red helps to convey passion and influence, as well as power. Black symbolizes strength and sophistication. Although white is only a small aspect of the Societe Generale color palette, it showcases virtue and purity. 

Interestingly, the logo also reflects the appearance of the skyscrapers in which the Societe Generale bank is located. Known as Tours Societe Generale, these two buildings share a similar shape to the two halves of the square emblem. 

The Societe Generale logo could also convey various other meanings depending on how you look at it. 

The image looks a little like a safety deposit box to someone who wouldn’t be familiar with the architecture of the Societe Generale buildings. This ensures it can still convey ideas associated with savings and finance to people from different regions of the world.

Societe Generale logo colors and fonts

While the Societe Generale logo might not have gone through as many changes as some of the other well-known bank emblems throughout the world, it’s still an impactful and eye-catching image.

The modern emblem, with its bold colors and clear, modern font, is great for capturing the attention of all kinds of financial consumers.

The colors of red and black even help to separate Societe Generale from many of the other financial leaders in the market who prefer to rely on colors like blue for reliability and green for wealth.

The hidden meaning in the Societe General bank logo will also appeal to local customers, who will recognize the shape of the bank’s buildings in the square emblem.

If you want to take a closer look at the Societe Generale bank logo, you can find some useful resources here:

The Societe Generale bank logo colors are officially black, red, and white. White symbolizes purity and virtue, while red is often used as a symbol of passion and power. Black is a strong, sophisticated color that can help a business appear more professional and stable.

The exact shade of red in the Societe bank logo color palette can be difficult to decipher, but it’s a little darker than the CMYK red you may be familiar with.

What font does the Societe Generale bank logo use?

The Societe Generale bank logo font is similar to Media Gothic but specific to the brand itself. The letters are narrow and sans-serif in design. They’re also beautifully curved and evenly spaced, making the overall name easier to read in any environment.

The Societe Generale bank logo is one of the more eye-catching emblems in the financial landscape. It’s bright, sophisticated, and modern. Plus, it helps tell us useful information about the company, showcasing the brand’s sophisticated and authoritative nature.

The Societe Generale bank logo is also wonderfully evocative because it’s designed to remind local viewers of the shape they see depicted by the two buildings of the bank’s headquarters.

Fabrik: A branding agency for our times.

Stephen Peate
Creative director
Stephen Peate
Creative director
As Fabrik’s creative director, Stephen oversees complex branding programmes. He advises our clients on their tone of voice, creates logos and visual identities and crafts names for companies, products and services. Writing for Brand Fabrik Stephen reflects his love for logo design and visual identity.

  • Sign up for updates

    Sign up for your regular dose of Brand Fabrik and be the first to receive insights and inspiration.

  • Sign up for updates

    Sign up for your regular dose of Brand Fabrik and be the first to receive insights and inspiration.