Digital Documentaries

On a mission to pass down the value of time to future generations, the Turkish Republic’s first and largest bank, İşBank, has begun to display office devices, clocks, safes and promotional materials from its collection, which includes pieces that date as far back as the foundation of the Republic. Selections from this collection are on display in the Bank’s two museums, which are both open to the public.

In 2019, when I Mean It Creative took on the task of creating the basis for the branding of İş Sanat, the Bank’s own art platform, our goal was to expand on the Bank’s reputation of tradition, innovation and transformation, and move its public perception in the direction of the understandable, accessible and approachable– our main thesis being that art is indeed for everyone.

Building on this very same idea, when İşBank approached us to help promote this new collection, we responded by creating a digital animated series that reflects the values of the brand and the vision of the exhibition. We delivered four short films about the pieces in the exhibit, using materials accompanying the collection such as old photographs, correspondence documents and drawings. These digital shorts were adapted into various formats that can be published on different social media platforms.


Since their establishment, banks have used and produced their own locked storage units to securely store money, valuable documents and precious metals.

In the 19th century, these storage units were the epitome of security.

In those years, special money safes, main vaults and rental storage units were all designed and produced in a way that was specifically tailored to the needs of the banks.

At the time, İşbank was using globally recognized brands such as Ade-Berlin, Franz Garny, Bode-Panzer and Lips for its various locked storage unit needs.

The main safes were high security vaults where banks would store, separate and distribute reserved money. Safe deposit boxes on the other hand, were metal boxes with two keys, designed so that customers could store their money and valuables in a safer place than their own homes. And money safes were safes that looked like furniture.

With time, safes and vaults became the symbols for saving money. Old advertorial copies also highlighted this symbolism, using phrases like ‘The small piggy bank is the mother who gave birth to the big safe-vault!’

The designs of these impressive safes and vaults, which were influenced by the artistic movements of the period, were the most solid examples of secure banking.

By taking a look at the vaults and safes on display in the İşbank Museum and Economic Independence Museum, you too can take part in this historic journey!


The calculating machines, typewriters and office tools used by İşbank since the years following its establishment are the very first indicators of the bank’s pioneership in technology.

Speed has always been very important when it comes to banking – ‘time is money’.

Tools of the era, like the automatic receipt shipping system/automatic receipt processors and money counting machines were used in service of this goal.

The Webster Sound Recording Device, The Tele Rapid Automatic Telephone Locator and The Mercedes Telex Machines were all used to ensure certain standards at the bank… And in those years, typewriters were used in place of computers.

From mobile models to electronics, from Remington to Adler Universal, valuable examples of these typewriters have remained to this day.

A trailblazer providing a vital opportunity ahead of its time, İşbank was widely reported in the news for being the first to offer typewriting courses to its employees.

You can take a look at the interesting pieces from this historic collection, both at the İşbank Museum in İstanbul and the Economic Independence Museum in Ankara.


İşbank has dedicated itself to spreading the habit of saving, ever since the very first years of its establishment. To this end, the bank began handing out piggy banks. This was a first– a pioneering promotional breakthrough.

İşbank’s founding General Manager Celal Bayar explains as so;

“We wanted to install two monumental piggy banks in both of Ankara’s city squares for advertising purposes. The governor of Ankara requested that a clock be placed on each piggy bank as a public service.”

In 1932, initial samples were installed in Istanbul and Ankara…These clocks, which were later spread around many Anatolian cities, were loved by the public. They quickly cemented as city symbols and meeting spots.

In fact, in order to avoid being mistaken as the other large historic clock in Adana’s city center, one of the clocks was dubbed the name “Little Clock”, and with time “Little Clock” became the name of the neighbourhood it was in.

These clocks, which are one of the visual symbols of the Republic, have taken their place in many memories, from advertisements to the news as well as postcards and photographs.

The bank also had miniature versions of the clocks made. They were presented as souvenirs to names from the state protocol of the period, including Atatürk.

With a history of close to 100 years, the piggy bank clocks have shown millions of people not just the time, but also the best way to save.


It’s one of the oldest, most quintessential requirements of banking; to measure and keep track of time.

Since its establishment, İşBank has used the sturdiest and most special clocks of the era in its branches and offices. Various examples from these silent witnesses of the Bank’s history were kept as gifts from the past to the future.

In addition to the wall clocks used in the branches, unique designs such as memorial clocks gifted to the Bank, and rare items like famous clock master Ahmet Eflaki Dede’s masterpiece; the 10-numbered skeleton clock, are also included in this collection.

These special clocks, shaped by the artistic movements and tastes of their periods, are preserved in accordance with contemporary museum standards.

The clocks, many of which are on display at “İşbank Museum” in Istanbul and the “Economic Independence Museum” in Ankara, take us on a journey to the past with their interesting stories.