Mastercard is updating its brand identity with an updated logo and a change in the way the corporate name is represented:  the capital “C” is gone and in some cases, so is the capital “M”.  (It will be interesting to see how long it will take for all of the spell/grammar check programs to catch up with the change!)

It’s the first major update to the brand in 20 years.  The iconic red and yellow interlocking circles are being retained, but in a cleaner looking presentation.   In addition to a 21st century update to the look that evokes a sense of evolution, the new logo is designed to look good across both print and digital mediums.

Changing a globally recognized brand image is a delicate and expensive undertaking.  I recall similar episodes from my time as head of Discover’s network.  In the late 90’s we put the Discover logo on a “diet” with slimmer, cleaner typography but retaining the overall look, then we updated the network acceptance mark that appears on merchants’ doors and at the point of sale.  In both cases we stayed close to the original design elements, but even so the costs to update the logo across the company, and on millions of cards and points-of-sale, amounted to tens of millions of dollars.

The new identity will take effect later this year.


Image source: Mastercard

Sign up for a weekly digest of my blog posts and articles.