What You Can Learn From MasterCard’s New Logo


This week, MasterCard unveiled their new logo – their first update in two decades. It looks very familiar, and that’s for a good reason. MasterCard CMO Raja Rajamannar said the motivation for redesigning the logo—and creating an entirely new design system for the company based on circles and arches—came from a desire to modernize the brand and optimize it for the web. The brand also just wanted a simpler design that would be flexible at all touch points, he explained to AdWeek.

Knowing that their logo was already universally recognizable, they were smart to create a new logo that still echoed the old. The new logo still features the red and yellow interlocking circles, but with a modern spin. The “MasterCard” words have been placed below the circles, and in a new lowercase font. The circular letters mimic the shape of the logo for a cohesive effect. Changing it to “mastercard” in all lowercase was done in a nod to technology – people no longer pay just with cards. Rajamannar recognized that “We wanted to de-emphasize it, and so we’ve taken away the capital letter C.”

Even a brand as well-known as MasterCard recognized it was time for an upgrade. Keeping your logo up-to-date and shifting with trends and technology is important for staying relevant. MasterCard didn’t just change their logo spontaneously, an incredible amount of thought and research went into creating something that was on-brand for them.

It’s no secret that a brand’s logo can make or break a company. The right logo with symbols, fonts, and colors that communicates the right image can become what a company is known for, sometimes before their actual product. When you think of Target, McDonalds, and Nike, their distinctive logos are probably what come to mind first.

Yes, a logo is an image, but it’s also an introduction to a brand. The logo must reach a specific audience and when designing, you must keep this in mind. There are a few basic principles to logo design:

  • A logo must be simple. A simple logo allows for easy recognition. Could a child draw your logo? That may be a good sign.
  • A logo must be memorable.  An effective logo should be memorable, which is often achieved through simplicity.
  • A logo must be enduring. An effective logo should endure the test of time, meaning it’s not so trendy that it can’t still work in 20, 50+ years time.
  • A logo must be versatile. An effective logo should be able to work across a variety of mediums and applications. In this digital age, it should be recognizable in all sizes and formats.
  • A logo must be appropriate. How you position the logo should be appropriate for its intended purpose.

A logo design is a process that should not be taken lightly. Think about how different shapes and colors can influence thought, and be sure that it matches what you are trying to communicate with your brand. As your company grows, so will your brand recognition. Make sure you get it right the first time, and work with a graphic designer for something unique, bold, and memorable. The GiraffeBuilder team is ready to help you create a logo that excites you and your customers.

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