When can brands become nameless?

Mastercard have announced that they’re planning to ditch their name from the now famous logo. The logo mark, re-branded in 2017 by Pentagram Design Agency, is now going to stand on its own in certain contexts such as cards, acceptance signs at tills and major sponsorship opportunities.

The interlocking circles have been in use for over 50 years and, barring a few tweaks, the logo has grown to become one of the most iconic in existence. But this new era for Mastercard begs a question; at what point of a brand’s development should or could the company name become removed? The role of design in the birth and evolution of a brand is key.

Getting your mark, logo and colours aligned to your overall brand strategy can have a massive impact on the way your business is perceived and understood by your target market.

 

 

Mastercard’s updated logo

Some brands can adopt a nameless approach more naturally. A great example is Apple. A year after their formation in 1976, Rob Janoff created the now familiar icon, placed next to an Apple word mark.

Landor Associates eliminated the word mark in favour of the icon in 1984. With an icon that is clearly related to the name of company, the leap to a nameless identity is perhaps less impressive than Mastercard. The Mastercard logo has become synonymous with their name over time, like a hieroglyphic.

Mastercard’s logo history. Soon to be nameless.

Companies such as Coca-Cola don’t have a minimal logo like Mastercard and Apple. However, their iconic red label, graphical device and product design mean that they are instantly recognisable even without words.

A wordless coke can. Still instantly recognisable.

Whether it’s a startup with a totally new brand or an existing company going through a rebrand, a well thought out design process can be critical in helping a business rise above its competitors. Making sure every detail and element of a brand is looked after and considered for a great customer experience.

Brands whose logo need no explanation. Windows, Nike and Apple.

Whilst it’s a logical move by Mastercard due to the familiarity of their brand, how soon can a brand with less influence look to go nameless? In an age where brand touch points often occur via screen, and latterly mobile devices in particular, the ability to flex to an icon based logo approach has become increasingly important.

Here at Dawn, we always consider this when tackling a brand or re-brand exercise. We want to ensure our clients’ brands are readily adaptable and fit to face the challenges of modern demands. Our 18 degree process ensures a thorough understanding of our clients’ businesses and a communication system that will stand the test of time.

If your company has room to grow and a vision to get there, why not strive to be a Mastercard of the future?