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The first logo of The Canadian Bank of Commerce was the caduceus, an ancient Egyptian symbol that came to be associated with Mercury (Hermes), the god of commerce. The symbol consists of a rod with two snakes twisted round it, surmounted by two small wings. The rod represents power, the serpents represent wisdom, and the two wings represent diligence and activity. This logo was widely used on stationery, bank forms, passbooks, annual reports and bank buildings.
In 1908, The Commerce introduced the corporate seal that it used until its merger with the Imperial Bank of Canada. The new seal showed a stylized sailing ship in the lower part of the shield and three wheat sheaves in the upper part. Combining symbols of transportation and agriculture, the shield depicts the essentials of Canadian commerce at the time. After World War II, the corporate seal was used on annual reports and other bank publications, as well as on bank branches.
The Imperial Bank of Canada used imperial symbols on its seal - the name of the bank is written on an armorial belt. In the centre, there is a crown surmounted by a crowned lion. This seal first appeared on the 1916 Annual Report and was in use, with only slight modifications, until the merger in 1961. The lion and crown imagery, however, had been employed since 1904 with an earlier version of the seal.
After the merger of the Imperial and The Commerce in 1961, a new seal was designed to incorporate images from their respective seals. The crowned lion of the Imperial replaced the sheaves of wheat on the old Commerce shield. The resulting design remains in use today as the corporate seal of CIBC.
In 1966, when the bank entered its 100th year of operation, a more modern symbol was commissioned for use as a logo. Canadian designers created an abstract form to convey the concepts of strength and progress. The chevron, as it came to be known, was used until 1986 when it was updated with new colours and the acronym 'CIBC' to identify the bank as a global financial institution.
In 1994, CIBC changed its logo to project a more unified contemporary image for the CIBC group of companies. The new logo provided a stronger visual image with a more contemporary symbol, which evolved from the chevron.
In 2003, CIBC introduced its current logo, which retained the heritage and strength of the Palatino wordmark, but captured a contemporary and energetic look and feel. The traditional chevron symbol was replaced by stylized yellow and white arcs to communicate forward thinking and convey renewed energy in shaping the future. For greater impact, the logo elements were superimposed on CIBC's distinctive claret colour. Internationally recognized, the logo leverages the strength of CIBC's brand and represents confidence, competitiveness and client focus.
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