News / Graphic Design

Pentagram unveils refresh of Mastercard’s brand mark and identity

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Pentagram has refreshed the logo and identity for Mastercard. The instantly recognisable logo has been reworked rather than replaced, and simplified in a way that suggests an effort to modernise and diversify the brand.

The Mastercard logotype has been completely overhauled. The text has been removed from the brand mark and dropped beneath, the typeface utterly reimagined in sans serif FF Mark – chosen to mimic the circular features of the brand mark. The capitalisation of the ‘C’ in Mastercard has been dispensed with in an effort to suggest that the brand is about more than just the credit card.

The red and yellow brand mark itself remains instantly recognisable, subtly refreshed. “From the very beginning, Mastercard’s brand mark has relied on extraordinarily simple elements: two overlapping/interlocking circles in red and yellow,” says Pentagram’s Michael Bierut. Gone are the interlocking elements which were introduced back in 1990, replaced by a translucent overlapping hue of orange in the centre of the venn diagram.

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Pentagram for Mastercard, the evolution of the brand mark

Although the new design might seem like a shift towards contemporary brand minimalism, it does in fact hark back to the logos use throughout the 1970s and 1980s, overlapping circles with the two iconic colours combining in the middle, before the interlocking elements were introduced in 1990. Only now, the colour mix is additive rather than subtractive, allowing for the central zone to be a brighter hue of orange than before.

“Mastercard’s new symbol returns the brand to its fundamental roots,” explains Pentagram’s Luke Hayman. “The new brand mark preserves and builds on this iconic foundation, providing a crisper look that has flexible configurations more suited for digital applications.”

The new brand mark will be used across all of Mastercard’s products and communications. The orange has become the signature colour for accenting the website, apps, advertising and graphic media. “These exist as static graphics as well as in animation. In addition. icon sets, illustrations and photographic styles have been designed to create a consistent visual system to express a wide range of messages in a unique, branded way,” says Beirut.

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Pentagram for Mastercard new brand mark

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Pentagram for Mastercard old 1996 brand mark

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Pentagram for Mastercard new brand mark in use on credit cards

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Pentagram for Mastercard new brand mark in use across communications

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Pentagram for Mastercard new brand mark in use in advertising

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Pentagram for Mastercard, new website

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Pentagram for Mastercard, new communication design

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Pentagram for Mastercard, new app design

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Pentagram for Mastercard, new brand mark on black