New Visa logo in 2021? Well, kind of…

Last Modified: Oct 9th, 2023 - Category: Branding, News, Uncategorized
new VISA logo 2021

2021 comes with a new VISA logo. But… does it really? How far does Visa’s 2021 rebranding go? Let’s see what’s going on and what to expect

VISA brand history

VISA is a global payments technology company that enables fast, secure and reliable electronic payments for consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 200 countries and territories.

Visa is considered one of the best global brands according to the Millennium 2000 Top of Mind study by the Millward Brown agency.

According to the company, the name “Visa” comes from the Scandinavian word “vista”, which means “to see”.

Visa co-founder Dee Hock originally thought “Visa” was a nonsense word, so he defined his company as a “bridge between the old and new financial worlds.”

Visa is also one of the most recognizable brands in the world.

With 3.6 billion cards in the world, Visa is recognizable to almost everyone and has long stood for trust, security, acceptance and inclusion. These core values, in addition to the goal of enabling all people to participate in the global economy, are expressed through a modernized, dynamic visual brand identity developed by Mucho in collaboration with Visa.

VISA has never been known for major changes to its brand and identity.

VISA original logo as BankAmericard
The first VISA logo, when the VISA brand did not yet exist.

From 1960 to today, we see only an evolution of identity whose purpose is to update and adapt to the context of the moment.

In this evolutionary process, the last update is from 2014, almost a decade ago. So it is in the environment of the digital economy that this rebranding, led by the Mucho San Francisco team, is anchored, although the scope of the project has involved all the agency’s offices. So the idea of the new logo is to enhance the visual identity on small screens and dynamic digital platforms.

The most significant change is the update of the Visa corporate blue; now clearer, but also more intense and vibrant. The wordmark leaves behind the dark blue gradient and opts for this lighter, solid blue (hex code: #2639c3).

Additionally, the company has unveiled a responsive logo that consists of three horizontal bars in Visa’s familiar blue, white and yellow. This icon is meant for small applications like favicon images

New Visa logo explained

VISA brand guidelines sheet
VISA brand guidelines sheet

According to the company, the new brand identity “symbolizes change.” As Visa, and indeed the entire world, contemplates a cashless future, it says the new brand has been designed with “inclusion” and “participation” in mind.

The new version of the Mucho brand separates the wordmark and the three-color brand symbol of the previous versions into two distinct elements. According to Visa, the three colors of the brand symbol represent the three goals of the brand: access, equality and inclusion.

Visa’s updated wordmark not only stands on its own, but also features a “new blue” that is brighter and more dynamic than its predecessor, the company said.

Brand positioning campaign

The launch of the new Visa logo comes alongside a brand repositioning and global advertising campaign led by marketing company Wieden + Kennedy. The new logo will initially be seen in digital channels, corporate communications and in presentation spots on Meet Visa.

According to the company, the Meet Visa campaign offers a “first look at the visual identity of the evolved brand that will launch later this year,” which will feature refreshed colors for greater digital impact, as well as “a source created specifically for optimal digital experiences and an updated brand icon that expresses the purpose behind the organization.”

During 2021, Visa’s new brand identity will be visible across the more than 200 countries and territories in which Visa operates.

The new Visa logo is just the beginning of more changes to come. For now, we will have to wait to see all the adjustments to the brand. We think we’ll see more in terms of marketing than a brand re-creation.

The new logo is in line with Visa’s new strategy. As the company announced, it will focus on making transactions and payments easier for everyone, everywhere, every day. As such, the new brand is expected to be more inclusive.

While the logo will not change the brand’s visual identity, it will allow Visa to more easily express its new purpose while providing a consistent representation across a variety of platforms.

Do the changes qualify as a new VISA rebranding?

VISA User interface (mobile version)
VISA User interface (mobile version)

The new VISA logo and brand identity is a change. But does it go far enough?

The company has said that the logo is now more inclusive, dynamic and accessible. One example of this, it said, is the new brand symbol, which consists of three bars – one in each of Visa’s three brand colors (blue, yellow and white) – to symbolize the idea of inclusion.

And yet the new VISA logo does not change much about the existing symbol. Critics have said that it would have been more radical to change the design of the symbol entirely.

The logo, with its refreshed colors, is more dynamic and accessible than ever before. It is now able to better express Visa’s new purpose and vision through a consistent and unified display across all digital platforms, whether on a mobile device or a large display. The new logo is more inclusive, dynamic and accessible. It is part of a broader rebranding effort that will be rolled out over the next two years.

Visa logo and brand evolution

The first Visa logo was introduced in late 1966 and was designed by the brand design firm Landor and Associates.

The current Visa logo is inspired in the one designed by the Lippincott design studio in 1992. The identity included the name “Visa” in a blue sans serif font.

VISA 1992 version
This VISA logo version from 1992 is the basis for all the subsequent VISA logos thereafter

In 1999, Visa changed the logo to show a blue circle surrounding the name “Visa” in a sans-serif font. The circle represented Visa’s global acceptance and served as a window into the world.

VISA logo from 2006 to 2014
VISA logo from 2006 to 2014

In 2007, Visa unveiled a new logo that featured an orange square with the name “Visa” in a modified Futura font. The square represented Visa’s global reach and ability to move people, capital and information.

The current Visa logo was introduced in 2014. It features a blue and orange stripe pattern, representing global acceptance and movement, on a white background. In this logo, the name “Visa” is placed within the pattern.

VISA 2014 logo
VISA 2014 version is the previous to the new VISA logo

The new logo design is based on a color palette of blue, yellow and white. This palette represents the brand’s goals: access, equality and inclusion.

However, the most important change is the modification of the brand symbol, which now consists of three horizontal bars in blue, yellow and white. This symbol is intended for small applications like favicon images.

Conclusion on VISA 2021 rebranding

New Visa logo in 2021? Well, kind of... 1
Old and new VISA logos side by side

The changes in the new VISA logo and the overall VISA 2021 rebranding (so to speak) were minimal and we can not really say that they will affect consumer opinion more or less. VISA is an established brand and a minimal color change will not generate more (or less) sales.

It’s possible to say that this rebranding is basically being done with the intention of generating a bit of hype around the brand, not much else.

User experience won’t change because of a slight color change, but it will change a lot if VISA design and branding firms start to think about users more seriously.

However, when we visit the website VISA, both desktop and mobile versions, we can see that they have not improved at all and that the website is still very poor in terms of accessibility and inclusion. We believe that if VISA wants to create inclusion, it should start there. Otherwise, it’s just empty words.

We really hope there is much more (and better) to come. Right now, it’s a bit of a disappointment.

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