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Kigali International Financial Centre

Connecting people with opportunities, across Africa and beyond

Rwanda, a proud nation in the heart of Africa. A country that has undergone huge transformation over the past three decades. A population that is young and energised.

Rwanda Finance Limited have bold aspirations to make Rwanda the primary gateway for international investment into Africa. To create a destination to rival the likes of Dubai International Financial Centre, Jersey IFC and City of London. Their newly constructed International Financial Centre building stands confidently in the centre of Kigali, capital city of Rwanda.

They lacked nothing in ambition but what they did lack was any semblance of a brand. With nothing in place, we were given a completely blank canvas to start from.

Services we provided

Global and local

The brand needed to appeal to international investors and raise their profile on the global stage, allowing Rwanda Finance to compete with and beat their rivals. At the same time it needed to feel distinctly Rwandan without looking like a clichéd African design. Striking a balance between feeling global yet also local would be a great challenge.

Turnaround was incredibly tight with the brand needing to be ready for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2021, hosted by Rwanda.

Finding the big idea

We started by looking at their competitors, both nationally and globally and at how they wanted to position themselves against them. We also looked at what visual elements and styles we could use to say Rwanda. The key thing that jumped out at us was the traditional Rwandan art form of Imigongo. A visually striking art form with a fascinating story that struck chord with the brand.

From humble beginnings

Imigongo artwork is created using nothing more than mud, cow dung and natural pigments. This beautiful art form is created by hand and was saved from extinction by a group of Rwandan women who were determined not to let this traditional art form be lost.

Monochromatic, geometric, visually striking and unmistakably Rwandan.

We captured this national art form in a roundel to accompany the wordmarque which is set in a customised version of the brand typeface Manier. Chosen for its heavy, angular serifs and its diamonds, Manier is a high contrast font which balances a solid confidence with fine and careful attention to detail. It has personality and sophistication and also stands out amongst other international financial centres.

We chose a simple, bold, energetic colour palette of yellow, black and white. Yellow from the national flag of Rwanda which represents prosperity. Black and white to anchor the visuals and provide gravitas and integrity.

We then created a set of pattern tiles which could be used in a range of different ways to tie everything together.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts

We worked closely with Run Jump Fly for Aequitas Global and Rwanda Finance Ltd. Run Jump Fly led on the brand positioning while we worked on visual research and early concepts for the identity. Once the positioning was approved we fed this into the creative work, thus ensuring that our work is aligned with the vision, mission and values.

The deliverables

  • Brand positioning, articulated in the brand voice (vision, mission, values)
  • Visual identity and support elements (logo, colour palette, fonts, additional design elements)
  • Tone of voice guide
  • Brand guidelines incorporating all of the above
  • Website design
  • Presentation deck template
  • Animated video for brand launch

Beautiful udders

When presenting the final brand guidelines to the CEO and CMO of Rwanda Finance Limited they were thrilled with what we had done.

They gave us the wonderful analogy that in Rwanda when you buy a cow, if the cow is perfect and you have no negative comments at all then you would say the cow has beautiful udders.

This brand has beautiful udders.

The outcome

Kigali International Financial Centre now has a brand which empowers them to be able to compete on a world stage. It gives them credibility, authority, and confidence.

We also gave them flexibility and clarity on how to apply the brand to a multitude of formats.

Kigali International Financial Centre is now well and truly on the world map, punching above its weight and working for a bright future for Rwanda and Africa.