Yes, it’s been plastered everywhere. We’ve all seen it. MasterCard has redesigned its logo. Everyone seems to be talking about it, but why aren’t I? There is a major difference between this redesign and other popular previous logo redesigns. That difference is that the general public approves of this one without giving it any time to sink in.
We’ve all seen the public react ignorantly to redesigns: “it’s so ugly,” “I can’t believe they paid for that,” “a two-year-old could do that.” Let’s start with the positive side. These knee-jerk reactions spread the word. It’s free promotion. No, it’s neither positive nor negative promotion. It’s just promotion. Lets think about the Uber design as an example: those who reacted negatively towards the redesign were not reacting to Uber nor Uber’s services. I would go as far as to say they were not reacting to Uber’s personality either. What they were reacting to is an identity; a design. Initial dislikes of brand identities is not as bad as we often interpret, especially because we are human. As humans, we do not know what we want or like. These initial critiques are coming from people who have limited knowledge of the brand’s history, purpose, and design in general. How can we treat their opinion the same as we treat the opinion of a design professional?
My other issue is that people who have knee-jerk reactions are devaluing innovation. New logo redesigns try to push the limits. They innovate and as far as I’m aware, innovation has never come easy, so why should we expect it to? Why should we keep using old, outdated logos? Why should we continue to watch others pass us by?
Lastly, I must bring up the most common argument heard: people with knee-jerk reactions will learn to like it and then actually defend the logo the next time it gets redesigned. I will use the most common example: Facebook. Look at how many people use Facebook today. It’s safe to say the vast majority of Facebook users have criticized a redesign. Of those who have, not a single person would today prefer an old layout over the current one. Guaranteed. Why? Because it’s not modern. It’s outdated and ugly by today’s standards.
Here we are. Now onto the topic: MasterCard’s redesign. The reason I haven’t brought this up until now is because I was watching people’s reactions. It was fascinating to see people like it from the jump.
MasterCard’s previous logo was not something to be proud of in this year. It was old, ugly, and outdated. From the text awkwardly close to the edges of the circles to a pointless drop shadow, the overall design was beyond terrible. It reflected within the company. I, for one, have never considered MasterCard, simply because it comes across as an outdated service with a lack of innovation. That perception has been based solely on their logo.
The updated version, however, is lovely. It’s refreshing, clean, simple, and modern. By moving all the text and distracting elements form the circles, Pentagram allowed MasterCard’s logo to breathe. We can finally see the circles for what they are: circles. Now lets pause to let me say I actually don’t know what the circles or colors represent, so I won’t comment on that. However, my best guess is the middleman between an exchange of money. The two circles represent a business and its consumer; the overlapping section represents the big MC. That’s just my best guess.
The cleanliness of the new logo brings out MasterCard’s friendliness. I don’t actually know if they are friendly because I haven’t had any interaction with them. This is simply the perception of the logo. The legal symbols are now color matching, and sized appropriately. The text is all lowercase. The simplicity of the graphics brings out the colors that were previously cluttered within the logo. The colors appear much more vivid.
As you are reading this, I would like to remind you that I do not proof read, nor do I take a step back to edit, rephrase, expand, or clear up any blog posts. So yes, there may be mistakes, it may seem scattered, but it comes straight to you as I write, and in a world of fake, it is real. Thank you for reading.