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As the original founders of the Merchants' Bank of Halifax were well-established maritime merchants, a modern three-mast sailing ship with an auxiliary engine, allegedly belonging to one of the bank's original directors William Cunard, was a logical choice for the centrepiece for the bank's first corporate seal. In 1901, the seal was slightly revised to include the new corporate name "The Royal Bank of Canada".
1901 - 1962
The 1901 name change symbolized Royal Bank's national expansion and a new logo was designed accordingly. The focal point was the "Royal" name and therefore, the new emblem incorporated a close facsimile of Britain's Royal Coat of Arms. The royal insignia lent the desired symbolism of tradition, strength and stability. This emblem became Royal Bank's first publicly recognized symbol both at home and abroad.
1962 - 1974
In 1962, Royal Bank adopted a new unique emblem, with a heraldic motif, that would be equally effective on top of a building or on a savings account passbook. Only two design elements were retained from the 1901 emblem: the lion, a symbol of dominance, strength and authority, and the crown to carry out the "Royal" symbolism. Added to the new logo was the globe to demonstrate Royal Bank's global presence. This particular version of the logo evolved into one of Canada's most identifiable corporate icons.
1974 - 2001
The "Lion and Globe" design was modified again in 1974 to simplify the image. In the new design, the primary lines remained and most of the lighter lines, which provided details such as the feathering on the lion's mane, were removed. The broad clean lines of this version gave a modern look to Royal Bank's corporate identity and were ideal for three-dimensional signage.
In 2001, Royal Bank updated its master brand to further exemplify its evolution. The brand name "RBC Financial Group" was added to capture the diverse companies and businesses that are part of the organization. The new logo continues to pay homage to tradition and honours its strong Canadian roots by retaining the traditional lion and globe. The new brand also clearly defines RBC Financial Group's future by signaling its growth strategy in North America and into niche markets around the world.