HT Group

The Challenge

Hamburg Trust, founded in 2007, reached a crossroads in 2021 where they were entering new industries. While the company could have simply changed their name from Hamburg Trust to HT Group, leadership felt it was also time for a new visual identity. This new visual identity needed to communicate a fresh perspective for international investors with a foundation of experience and value creation. The brand would need to convey the company’s tagline of “Solid. Smart. Steady.”

The Approach

The leadership team at HT Group needed a little strategizing around the design choices for the visual identity. Should the new visual identity simply elevate the existing identity or should it veer further away? If so, how drastic should that change be? Getting answers to these questions required first examining the previous logo. The original logo was designed to look like engraved lettering. When you zoomed in to the logo, there were imperfections and inconsistencies of lines and angles.

This logo design could perhaps be a light refresh, using the same approach of an engraved-like logo. This engraved look gives off the appearance of an old, reliable bank, in a traditional downtown building. The logo could also take a completely different approach by going more modern with a san serif typeface to signal the appearance of a modern, corporate bank. And, of course, the world does not exist in only two categories so there is a spectrum between the traditional and the modern. The below exercise was used to get a sense of the bank’s new direction.

Concepting & Themes

Ultimately, the type exercise indicated that HT Group was moving in a corporate direction so a san serif logo was the way forward. As limiting as that direction may seem, there were still many opportunities to experiment, especially since the HT in the name lends itself to many monogram ideas. The first design iteration included 3 monogram logos.


The first logo option was slightly revised and color was added to the middle rule to create more visual intrigue. The final logo was straightforward and simple.

HT Group uses two logotypes. The primary logotype spans two lines and is visually heavier, while the secondary mark is all on one line and was developed to provide an alternate mark where space is limited.

The new logo fit HT Group’s need of being modular to create sub-brand logos for various industries such as the data invest group.

The final project included a comprehensive brand guide and over 15 branded deliverables.

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