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History Of The MasterCard Logo Design & Evolution

History Of The MasterCard Logo Design & Evolution

Let's face it, when it comes to money, we all want to know that we're in good hands. And that's where MasterCard comes in – one of the giant financial services corporations in the US. Founded in 1966, MasterCard has been helping people make payments and manage their finances for over half a century. With its headquarters in New York and global operations in the thriving metropolis of O'Fallon, Missouri, this company is truly a force to be reckoned with.

And while New York might be known for its towering skyscrapers and busy streets, O'Fallon has its unique charm. Nestled in the heart of the Midwest, this city is home to friendly locals, great food, and of course, the global operations headquarters of MasterCard. It might not have the bright lights of Times Square, but there's something special about the relaxed, laid-back vibe of O'Fallon.

But let's return to the show's real star here – MasterCard. With its innovative payment solutions and commitment to customer service, it's no wonder this company has become a household name. Whether buying groceries at your local supermarket or booking a flight to your dream vacation destination, MasterCard covers you.

So the next time you're swiping your card or tapping your phone to make a payment, take a moment to appreciate the hard work and dedication that has gone into creating one of the most trusted and reliable financial services corporations in the world – all from the comfort of O'Fallon, Missouri.

MasterCharge: 1966-1979

Mastercard Logo 1966

Ah, the 1960s – a time of significant change and innovation. And what better way to capture that spirit than with a brand-new banking product? That's right; we're talking about MasterCharge – the predecessor of today's famous MasterCard. And as with any new product, it needed a logo to make its mark.

The first logo, created by Interbank, was simple enough – a white “I” on a black circle with the Interbank nameplate in black. It was like the little black dress of logos – classic and timeless. But as we all know, sometimes you need some colour to spice things up.

So in 1968, the MasterCharge logo got a makeover. The new design featured two overlapping circles – one red, one orange – with the MasterCharge nameplate in lowercase and “The Interbank Card” in all caps below it. It was like a burst of energy and enthusiasm, the perfect representation of the modern, forward-thinking banking product that MasterCharge aimed to be.

And let's remember that colour palette – red and orange, the colours of passion and progressiveness. It was like the logo was saying, “Hey, we may be a banking product, but we're cool and hip too!”

So the next time you use your MasterCard to buy something, take a moment to appreciate the history and evolution of the logo that started it all – from a simple white “I” to a burst of colour and energy.

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Original MasterCard Logo Design: 1979 – 1990

Mastercard Logo 1979

In 1979, the banking gods spoke, and they said, “Let there be MasterCard.” And so it was – the new name was born, and a new logo came to match.

Gone were the days of lowercase letters – the new logo was all about simplicity and sophistication. Two capital letters – M and C – above two circles, all in the same white colour. It was like the logo was saying, “We may be a banking product, but we're also classy AF.”

And let's remember the circles – they represented the coming together of different financial institutions to create something extraordinary. It was like the United Nations of banking, but with less paperwork and more money.

But even with its sleek new design, the MasterCard logo still had a sense of humour. After all, what's more hilarious than being a master of your finances? It's like saying, “I may not be a superhero, but I can still control my money like one.”

So the next time you pull out your MasterCard to pay for something, take a moment to appreciate the simplicity and humour of the logo that represents it. It's a reminder that even in the serious world of finance, there's always room for a little bit of fun.

Redesign: 1990-1996

Mastercard Logo 1990

In 1990, the MasterCard logo got a makeover, and boy, was it a sight to see. The designers must have asked, “How can we make this logo even more awesome?”

The answer? Brighter colours. The orange circle was shifted to yellow, making the logo look more friendly and approachable. The logo said, “Hey there, I'm not just a banking product – I'm your friend!”

And let's remember those horizontal stripes on the overlapping circles. The logo wore a fancy new suit, ready to take on the world. And with those stripes of yellow and red, it was like the logo was saying, “I may be a banking product, but I'm also a party animal!”

But it wasn't just the colours that got an upgrade. The wordmark was italicised, making it look more elegant and sophisticated. The logo said, “I may be a fun-loving banking product, but I'm also serious about helping you manage your money.”

And speaking of managing money, let's remember the company's progressive approach and constant development. With each new redesign, the logo reflected the company's commitment to staying on the cutting edge of finance. The logo said, “I may look good now, but wait until you see what's coming next!”

Refreshed: 1996-2016

Mastercard Logo 1996

It was a time of change, post-grunge music, and, apparently, a time of minimalism in logo design.

The MasterCard logo got a new look with a more intense shade of yellow for its circle, and the horizontal lines were reduced, giving it a more straightforward and no-nonsense feel. It was like the logo was saying, “I'm not just fun and games – I'm here to help you manage your money!”

And let's not forget about the new inscription, which gained a black shadow. It was like the logo was putting on its cool shades and saying, “I'm not just a banking product – I'm a rockstar of the financial world!”

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But as we know, all good things must end, and in 2006, the MasterCard logo got a corporate edition makeover. The designers must have thought, “Hey, we've been rocking this logo for a while now. How can we take it to the next level?”

The answer? Add another circle. But not just any circle – a half-transparent circle, because that's what all the cool logos were doing back then. And let's not forget about the new inscription, which was now in black and set in two levels. The logo said, “I may be a financial powerhouse, but I'm also classy and sophisticated.”

And with that new logo, MasterCard dominated the financial world for the next ten years until it was time for another redesign. But that's a story for another time. For now, let's appreciate the evolution of this iconic logo and all the humour and sass it brought to the world of finance.

Simplification: 2016-2020

Mastercard Logo 2016

In 2016, MasterCard decided to switch things up yet again. Not content with just dominating the financial world, they decided to dominate the world of capitalisation, too.

That's right, folks. The company name was transformed from “MasterCard” to “Mastercard”, with only one capital letter. It's like they were saying, “We're not just a credit card company; we're also a grammar masterclass.”

But that wasn't the only change. The logo got a sleek new look with a neat sans-serif typeface. The logo said, “I'm not just a credit card company; I'm also a typography connoisseur.”

And let's remember the refined emblem. The horizontal lines were gone, and they took the colour palette from the 1990s version. The logo said, “I'm not just a credit card company; I'm also a nostalgic tribute to my past.”

The new Mastercard logo perfectly combines modernity and nostalgia, like a mullet haircut. And just like a mullet, it's business in the front and party in the back.

Minimal Mastercard: 2019-Today

Mastercard Logo.0

If you thought Mastercard couldn't get any more minimalist than their previous logo, think again. The newest version of the logo is so minimalistic that it's practically a work of art.

Gone are the days of horizontal lines and wordmarks. All that remains is the iconic overlapping circles in bright red and orange. It's like they were saying, “Who needs letters and shapes when you have two circles?”

But don't be fooled by its simplicity. This logo packs a punch. It's bright, it's modern, and it's instantly recognisable. It's like a superhero costume for your wallet. And let's remember the subliminal messaging behind those circles. Red for passion and energy, orange for progressiveness. The logo says, “I'm not just a credit card; I'm a lifestyle.”

In a world where logos are constantly vying for attention, the Mastercard logo stands out by being confidently understated. It's like the cool kid at the party who doesn't need to show off to get noticed. So, next time you're using your Mastercard, take a moment to appreciate the simplicity and brilliance of the logo. And who knows, it'll also inspire you to simplify your life.


In conclusion, the history of the MasterCard logo design and evolution is a fascinating journey through banking and branding. MasterCard has undergone many changes, from its humble beginnings to the sleek and modern look of the current logo.

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MasterCard takes its branding seriously, with each redesign reflecting the company's values and approach to innovation. Let's face it: as a financial services corporation, they need all the help they can get to appear cool and hip. If you want to develop your business similarly, check out for simple templates.

But joking aside, the MasterCard logo has become a staple in our daily lives, appearing on everything from credit cards to billboards. It's a testament to the power of branding and the importance of a solid visual identity.

So here's to the MasterCard logo and its evolution over the years. Who knows what the future holds for this iconic emblem, but it will continue to represent the company's commitment to excellence and security, and maybe even a little swag.

Photo of author

Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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