MasterCard is an international financial services corporation founded in 1966. It handles payments between merchant banks and issuing banks or buyers’ credit unions. At first, the system was called Interbank (from 1966 to 1969), then Master Charge (from 1969 to 1979), and only then received its current name. Its founder is an alliance of several regional banking associations – Interbank Card Association (now Mastercard Incorporated).
Meaning and History
The corporation’s original logo appeared at the very beginning of her career and has never changed dramatically: it has always remained the way it looks now. The changes were about minimal adjustments and improvements due to the requirement of time, for example, for adaptive visualization on electronic media or when changing the design of a bank card.
1966 – 1979
The history of the emblem is closely related to the evolution of the bank. It reflects all the iconic concepts that he adheres to. To show the areas of intersection of interests of two sides of the same process, the administration used a Venn diagram.
This is how the first sign appeared, which is stylized as visual proof of the idea of the need for cooperation since it is mutually beneficial. Two equal circles are taken as a basis – red and orange. They are superimposed on each other by the one-fourth part and demonstrate the possibility of overlapping different interests.
Above the intersecting circles was the then corporation name in lower case. Beneath it was the phrase “The Interbank Card” in capital letters. And in the lower right corner, there was a lowercase “i” – the Interbank icon in a black circle.
1979 – 1990
In December 1979, the company was named MasterCard. As a result, a new name for the financial institution appeared on the logo. The previous image was not discarded because it perfectly reflected the progressiveness, energy, and banking operations dynamics.
1990 – 1996
In April 1990, the emblem was slightly altered. Instead of orange, yellow appeared, and the border of intersecting circles was shaded with horizontal stripes. This design moved away from the Venn diagram and focused even more on the parties’ close relationship. The title in the middle was written in italics with a slight slant.
1996 – 2016
The developers focused on the yellow circle, intensifying its color. They also reduced the number of intersecting stripes in the middle. This made the logo minimalist and austere. One more revision touched the word “MasterCard”: it got narrow black shadows on the right and became more voluminous.
In the middle of the previous period, a corporate version of the emblem also appeared, used in parallel for ten years. It consisted of the same logo and had a third circle – slightly larger than the first two. Thanks to its transparency, it did not cover what is below it, creating a 3D effect. Below the graphic sign was the phrase “MasterCard Worldwide,” placed on two levels: the top row is printed in black bold, in the bottom – in thin.
2016 – 2020
Starting in July 2016, the financial corporation changed the spelling of its name: now the version with a lowercase “c,” and not with an uppercase: “Mastercard” is considered relevant. The changes in the logo of that time were dramatic, which happened for the first time in 20 years. The text from the circles disappeared, and they got their original form – in the form of a Venn diagram, as before 1990.
The name of the company is outside the graphic symbol and is located at the bottom. It is written in lowercase letters. The yellow color is enhanced and closer to orange. This is visible in the center of the intersection of the two elements. This option is relevant for all sub-brands of the corporation. Only the inscription “Mastercard” will disappear from the logo in July 2020.
2019 – today
In early 2019, the logo for physical cards and e-wallets and labels, stickers, and marketing materials were also changed. On January 7, the word “Mastercard” was removed from it. In all other details, it corresponds to the 2016 version.
Font and Color of the Emblem
The current version has existed since 1966 – since the formation of the financial association – and has never changed. Any interventions concerned only small corrections, so all this time, there are two colored circles on the logo, which partially overlap one another.
The emblem uses the FF Mark family font. These are the minimalist and clean sans-serif fonts Std Premium and Helios Antique Semi Bold. The color of the logo, like its shape, is also standard: it is a combination of red and yellow (previously, orange). The letters were always white.