Following in the footsteps of branding legends Apple, Nike, and Target, Mastercard is choosing a wordless logo using only its iconic, intersecting yellow and red circles. It will be used as the brand symbol on credit cards and at retailers, as well as at events and on advertising. The new logo was also chosen to “work seamlessly across the digital landscape,” according to a press release.
Of course, given the nature of the new logo, it’s only appropriate that the company also announced the change in what Mastercard VP of communications Jennifer Stalzer described to Fortune as a “wordless press release,” seen below:
Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer at Mastercard, said the company undertook more than 20 months of global consumer research to ensure people could identify the brand solely by its circles. “And with more than 80% of people spontaneously recognizing the Mastercard symbol without the word ‘Mastercard,’ we felt ready to take this next step in our brand evolution,” Rajamannar said in the company’s press release.
Mastercard’s move to drop its name may have been in the works earlier. In 2016, the company moved the word “Mastercard” from inside the circles (where it had been since 1968) to below the circles.
“Every day clients want to know what will it take to be the Nike swoosh,” Michael Bierut, a design partner with Pentagram, which did both recent logo changes, told Fast Company in 2016. “They think that these logos are born like this on day one and of course they’re not. For any company that achieves that, it’s because they’ve made a long investment in the use of primary elements.”
But Mastercard isn’t going cold turkey in changing from its previous design. Stalzer told Fortune that consumers will occasionally see the old logo “as banks work through their existing stock of cards with the prior logo…and [as] Mastercard continues to build brand recognition in certain developing markets.”