Mastercard just changed one of the most recognisable logos of modern times

Mastercard has changed its famous logo for the first time in decades giving the iconic overlapping red and yellow circles a more modern feel to better align itself with the evolution of the payment ecosystem.

The revamped logo has dropped the CamelCase and now reads ‘Mastercard’ and even ‘mastercard’ in some of the branding. The red and yellow overlapping circles remain, however they no longer have a chunky 90’s feel and have instead adopted a slimmer, more streamlined look.

Having issued over 2.3 billion credit cards around the world Mastercard can lay claim to having one of the most widely distributed and recognizable symbols in modern times, however the financial payments ecosystem has changed drastically in recent years with the emergence of mobile. While Mastercard have evolved with those times by introducing digital products and creating new technology for credit card payment systems, it’s logo has remained unchanged since 1996.

The company brought on board esteemed design firm Pentagram to help it cast aside its aging look and reflect the quick paced proliferation of payment platforms which has saw the emergence of PayPal, Venmo, and Apple Pay as big players.

Michael Bierut, the Pentagram partner who oversaw the project, told the Verge that the longstanding design was distinctly Matercard’s own and Pentagram was "smart enough not to throw it all away".

Every company strives to have a logo like Nike’s swoosh but Bierut points out that for a company to achieve that they must make “a long investment in the use of primary elements” such as Matercard has done.

“I would not even take credit for designing this mark," Bierut says. "We took their DNA and went through this process of distillation. With each wave of simplification it felt sharper cleaner and more flexible."

With the MasterCard wordmark now outside of the symbol the company now has more flexibility when applying it to all of its products including credit cards, window decals, websites, apps, digital products and printed materials.

The new brand identity goes into effect along with Masterpass later this month and will be rolled out across the company's full range of services and experiences in the autumn.

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