Big Brands are Shifting to More Subtle, Wordless Logos

Credit card giant MasterCard has recently introduced its new logo. Changes were very subtle – the company name was moved towards the bottom of the logo. The brand expressed that it would also ultimately do away with using the name and just use the wordless logo to remove emphasis on the “card” as they are now offering other products.


MasterCard rebranding

Image via MasterCard and The Atlantic

Let’s take a look at some of the big companies that have done the same. Rebranding by tweaking well-known logos can wield both positive and negative outcomes. The following have taken the plunge and took their names out of the logos.


According to Jill J. Avery, a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School, “Researchers have demonstrated that the use of visual imagery (vs. verbal imagery) in advertising increases consumers’ attention and challenges them to interpret and understand the ad’s message in a more active manner than words do. This process of interpretation or ‘elaboration’ produces a higher quantity of mental images and, in many cases, a more personalized understanding of the ad’s message.”

McDonald's logos

Image via McDonald’s and The Atlantic

The change also somewhat ‘debrands’ or ‘decorporatizes’ the well-known companies, making them seem less corporate and more personal especially to the customers or the end users. The need to get personal and friendly can depend on your target market; generally the younger generation need more of that closer connection more than others. A good example of ‘debranding’ is Coca-Cola’s ‘Share-a-Coke’ campaign. In 2013/2014, the beverage brand dropped their famous brand name and logo with an individual’s name, encouraging others to “Share a Coke with Andrew”, for example. The campaign led to an increase in sales due to the more personalized approach.

Share a Coke

Image via Coca-Cola

When it comes to brands trying to be more authentic and less corporate, MasterCard and Coca-Cola are included in the Top 20 of the world’s most authentic brands. This just shows that even the subtlest of changes can leave a lasting impression and can also affect a brand positively or even negatively (if not done correctly).


For more tips and insight on branding and logos, peruse the MicroCreatives blogs. Reach out to our creative team to know more about our services and how we can help improve your brand.