Branding is an art

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Posted by - Starbots Creative

Branding is an art, one founded on sociology and cultural awareness.

And it’s full of emotion.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Mastercard has had its first brand redesign in 20 years, designed by Pentagram, London. You may not have noticed because the new design retains the two iconic overlapping red and yellow circles, but if you’re eyes are peeled you will notice the exchange of stripes for a striking orange.

The logo follows the current simplistic and vibrant trend which we’ve seen a great deal of this year from the likes of Instagram, Premier League, Just Eat and Google.

Mastercard’s fresh visual identity keeps the familiar two overlapping circles, but aims to bring it into the digital age and enhance it for on-screen use – something that is vital for us in the digital age and worth remembering when it comes to your own brand.

A study conducted by Mastercard following the rebrand found that more than 80% of consumers still recognised the symbol without inclusion of the name, showing the power of colour and brand identity. So much so that many large brands like Pepsi have subtly changed their brand over time and because they keep the colours the same, consumers will still identify the brand.

As a designer I have to think about appropriate colour choice to match the client and their message. There are reams of information out there about how we psycologically associate colours with emotions. Red for Danger right? It’s a bit like what we wear – what we chose to put on in the morning makes a statement about us (whether we realise it or not). Say you always wear bright colours – its probably because you like to stand out, be noticed or are a bubbly bright person or at least that’s what people will perceive about you.

So how have Mastercard mastered their colour emotions? Well, they have chosen to introduce orange to their new logo as this suggests “optimism”. They have also began to use the overlapping circles in their marketing material, further promoting the brand message in a fresh and authoritative way.

“Through decades of exposure, the interlocking circles have become so recognisable that they can be reduced to their essence and still communicate Mastercard, at scales large and small, analog and digital, and ultimately, even without words,” says Bierut.

So if branding is an art, is your logo a masterpiece?