Mastercard’s graphic look has changed little in five decades. Though the symbol has enormous brand equity — to begin with it appears on 2.5 billion credit cards — Mastercard turned to Pentagram to help freshen it up and, importantly, make it clearer that Mastercard is not so much a card issuer as it is a technology provider for making payments.
The simplified mark retains the red and yellow circles, which now overlap with a bright orange hue in the middle, but also features a more contemporary lowercase sans logotype. In addition, a comprehensive visual identity has been developed for everything from advertising to sponsorships.
The identity rollout will be a gradual process and, says Pentagram partner Michael Beirut, the firm will continue to collaborate with Mastercard’s global design staff and agencies as new applications arise. Bierut, along with Luke Hayman, took the lead on the branding project.