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Mastercard simplifies iconic brand logo, drops name

Mastercard is dropping its name from its iconic brand logo of the interlocking red and yellow circles. The simplified logo will now stand on its own across cards, retail locations both online and offline, and major sponsorship properties. Mastercard said that the symbol represents the brand “better than one word ever could”, and the modern design will allow it to work “seamlessly” across the digital landscape.

According to Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communication officer at Mastercard, reinvention in the digital age calls for modern simplicity, adding that more than 80% of people recognise the Mastercard symbol without the word ‘mastercard’ having to be plastered everywhere.

“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,” he said.

The red and yellow interlocking circles have been the hallmark of the Mastercard brand for more than 50 years, symbolising the brand’s promise to connect people to “priceless possibilities”. The brand said that the recognisable circles give consumers the confidence and trust that their transactions are secure.

“We live in a time where, increasingly, we communicate not through words but through icons and symbols. Mastercard has had the great fortune of being represented by two interlocking circles, one red, one yellow, since its founding in 1966,” Michael Bierut, partner at Pentagram said.

“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,” he added.

Earlier last week, Mastercard appointed Donald Chesnut as its first chief experience officer, effective 14 January 2019. In this newly created role, he will lead a team that supports the organisation’s delivery of the best consumer payment experience, while providing merchants, issuers and other partners a more holistic way to work with Mastercard’s products and services.

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