In July 2016, Mastercard unveiled its first logo redesign in 20 years created by renowned design agency Pentagram. The overhaul saw the company opting for a simpler, more minimalist visual that was “modernized and optimized for an increasingly digital world.”
Fast forward to 2019, the financial services company has made another alteration to further simplify its iconic red-and-yellow emblem: dropping its “mastercard” name from the logo design altogether.
— Mastercard (@Mastercard) January 7, 2019
The move leaves only the ‘Mastercard Symbol’, its widely recognized interlocking circles that have been in existence for over 50 years. They represent Mastercard’s commitment to connecting customers with Priceless possibilities, and according to the company, represent Mastercard “better than one word ever could.”
By doing away with the name, Mastercard aims to make its logo design even more adaptable, thereby enabling it to work seamlessly across the world’s growing digital landscape.
In a press release, Mastercard’s chief marketing and communication officer Raja Rajamannar explained, “[W]ith more than 80 percent of people spontaneously recognizing the Mastercard Symbol without the word ‘mastercard,’ we felt ready to take this next step in our brand evolution. We are proud of our rich brand heritage and are excited to see the iconic circles standing on their own.”
“We live in a time where, increasingly, we communicate not through words but through icons and symbols,” added Michael Bierut, established graphic designer and partner at Pentagram.
“Mastercard has had the great fortune of being represented by two interlocking circles, one red, one yellow, since its founding in 1966. Now, by allowing this symbol to shine on its own, Mastercard enters an elite cadre of brands that are represented not by name, but by symbol: an apple, a target, a swoosh. Mastercard’s two interlocking circles have always represented their commitment to connecting people. Now, that commitment is given greater presence by Mastercard’s status as a symbol brand,” said Bierut.
Mastercard, images via Business Wire]