I most definitely have to voice my thoughts on this logo re-design shaking the world of Graphic Design and branding. MasterCard’s most recent old logo was used for exactly 20 years as the face of this company. It is recognizable, no matter where it is. It was not too busy, and very durable.
MasterCard, however, decided to give it a refreshing new twist and Pentagram honored with this responsibility of making the change.
My take on it is that it is the natural evolution of this brand’s identity. The dropshadow used for the title has been removed, the spelling is now all lower case, and the writing is now a separate element from the symbol. I think it is 1. More practical and 2. Simplified.
It has now more flexibility of usage, and it is no longer married to the same positioning. It’s more playful and fits today’s design needs more accordingly. The integrity of the identity remains intact, since the natural shape of the symbol remains the same, and the color pallette is the same. In the previos version there was a commitment to the “Dark Blue Acceptance Rectangle” to be used every time the logo was going to be displayed at banks, websites, or any other materials. Now it seems like this has been left behind, and the logo runs freely on top of almost anything else.
I am pretty sure that they are very content about being able to move to the side the mascercard writing every now and then, and being able to use the iconic interlaced circles to stand on their own every now and then. Flexibility shouldn’t be something to fear nowadays in brand identity.
A brand that has so much international visual recognition has the luxury to change to a much simpler look, and this is the perfect exmaple to prove it. It seems as if this is an evolution of their 1979 logo, not the evolution of the 1996 version. The 1996 was probably a step backwards with the addition of the drop shadow and the italicized font.
The lower case: let’s speak about this a bit longer! I am oh, so fond of this. It’s refreshing, young, and a bold look to return to. Big corporations don’t fear this type of change, nowadays, apparently. Take CitiBank as an example; their logo is entirely lowercase and succesful, recognizable, and one big famous creation by Paula Scher. (Who is a big part of the Pentagram team as well) So, thumbs-up Pentagram, and thumbs up MasterCard; (mastercard?)
I must say, it is only the natural evolution and my Graphic Design senses are tingling with joy.