Cannes Lions

iShares Visual Identity System


Presentation Image
Supporting Images
Case Film






iShares is the world’s largest provider of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) with a global line-up of 800+ ETFs. Owned by BlackRock, iShares ETFs provide flexible, low-cost ways for investors to gain exposure to various market segments, including fixed income, emerging markets and broad-based indexes.

Visual identity in the finance sector is largely undifferentiated. Many brands tend to speak about the same offerings, in the same way, using the same corporate colors, with the same stock imagery. Positioned as a restless leader with a challenger spirit, iShares is unique among its peers. To illustrate this reality, they tasked us with creating a visual identity that demonstrates how different they are.


The brand was at an inflection point: there will be massive growth within the ETF industry over the next four years. iShares wanted to make their brand more accessible and their products more aligned with investors’ needs and goals, to further democratize the world of investing. The brand is positioning itself for future investors regardless of their age or geographic locations.

The visual identity has a strong point of view. It is tonally inspired by the passionate attitudes of historical and current champions of progress. Challengers of the status quo. By bringing this attitude of urgency and impact to life visually, iShares is more likely to connect with all types of investors, from personal to professional. Keeping things clear, punchy and to the point is meant to increase those chances.


Our new iShares VIS is loud, vibrant, and full of personality in an otherwise conservative sector. The illustration style and iconography are both graphic and telegraphic. Photography, deliberately presented in stark black and white brings sophistication and balance to a colorful system. Tone of voice is key. It’s smart, empowering and witty where appropriate.

Unexpected combinations of the above create a distinctive, refreshing brand identity in an indistinct category.


The new identity launched in the US market in May 2019 and has rolled out globally over the last year. So far it has been picked up by several publications and has been used to inspire several campaigns for the brand.

“With this reimagining, we now have a category-busting visual identity that brings our purpose and mission to life, breaks through the industry’s ‘sea of sameness’ and establishes iShares as an accessible partner committed to investor progress.” -- Alex Craddock, Managing Director and Global Chief Marketing Officer for iShares.

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