Pentagram brings Mastercard into the digital age with pared-back logo redesign

| 11 comments

Design agency Pentagram has created a new logo and visual identity for Mastercard, the credit card company's first branding redesign in 20 years.

The new design retains the two overlapping red and yellow circles, but swaps the stripes in the central portion for a block orange colour.

Mastercard logo by Pentagram

The bold white text that spelled the US company's name has been replaced with the FF Mark typeface – all lower case – and positioned outside the symbol.

Pentgram, which has created branding for everything from MIT Media Lab to Snoop Dogg's edible marijuana range, has also updated Mastercard's website graphics, information pamphlets, billboards and other marketing materials.

Mastercard Logo redesign by Pentagram

The typeface is used in a variety of weights across the applications, while circles in different sizes and opacities also feature.



Although Mastercard's corporate branch had a logo refresh in 2006, the company has stuck with the same public design since 1996.

Mastercard logo by Pentagram

The logo has remained largely unchanged since Mastercard was founded in 1966, however the new update aims to help bring the company into the digital age as more card transactions are done online and via apps.

"Everything has changed in the past 20 years," Pentagram partner Michael Bierut told FastCoDesign. "There was a lot of screw tightening and design tinkering happening [with the logo] in the first 30 years of the company. Then they almost got frozen in 1996."

Mastercard logo by Pentagram

"We took their DNA and went through this process of distillation," he added. "With each wave of simplification it felt sharper cleaner and more flexible."

The logo continues the trend for flat design, which has been adopted by companies like Instagram, Uber – replacing skeumorphic graphics that aim to emulate real-world objects on digital screens.

  • ludwig

    Sometimes less is less

  • starchildluke

    Not a huge fan, particularly because they’ve added the typography at the bottom of the logo. I think after so many decades, they could have got away with just the logo on its own and still be recognised.

    • marc scime

      There was always typography in the Mastercard logo. It’s been relocated form the horizontal center line of the logo body itself to an underline.

      The resulting new design reads much cleaner and stronger.

      “Sometimes less is less” – ludwig

      This isn’t such a sometimes example. This is “Less is better”.

  • hellfire

    Five minutes of actual work. Weeks putting together a package to post-rationalise everything. Getting paid millions? Priceless.

    • Asphere

      Yep. This is why I want to be a graphic designer in this era. Low input, high income.

      • lonflex@yahoo.com

        The only time being a graphic designer is an asset is when you have really smart clients. It is a sad reality that the ignorant ones are going to tell you what to do, down to the smallest detail, even though they have no idea what a good design is.

        • Asphere

          For me it’s the designers’ responsibility to withstand that kind of thing and “be good”. We cant blame anyone about this, just blame ourselves to have let this happen, right?

  • Kay

    It’s a cool simple overhaul though I still prefer the 1979 version personally. My main issue is following the all lowercase trend, its a bit too expected, but still Penta pull it off well.

  • Mastercard masterbate.

  • Think

    Lovely bit of work.

  • Peter W

    Absolute rubbish!