Loewy creates card design toolkit for Visa partners

Visa is to help its partner banks improve the design of their credit cards with the launch of a design toolkit created by Loewy.

The transactional payments giant commissioned branding consultancy Bite to undertake the work in spring last year, prior to Bite’s acquisition by Loewy (DW 2 November 2006). The consultancy has developed a set of ‘off-the-shelf’ card designs banks can adopt immediately, but the toolkit focuses on helping the banks to generate ideas for bespoke designs, says Loewy creative director Keith Crook. Targeting banks in the Central European, Middle Eastern and African markets, the design toolkit offers creative and technical guidelines on card design. It will be used by Visa’s members to develop new ideas, which will be created and implemented by their local consultancies.

‘CEMEA covers really diverse regions. South Africa has a lot of poverty, Dubai has plenty of money and Russia has a stark divide between the two. We have tried to incorporate this into the designs we gave to Visa,’ says Crook. ‘The idea is to give markets that may be lacking in design skills some inspiration and guidance on why card design is very important.’

Member banks will use the kit to create designs that relate to key demographics or business segments. It contains guidance on how to commission, including the preparation of a brief and creative concepts, to reach specific customer segments. The toolkit has been developed to use Visa’s new card standards, which come into force in the CEMEA region this month. Allowing greater flexibility in card design, the changes stem from the brand identity overhaul undertaken by Visa executive vice-president for global brand and marketing John Elkins two years ago.

‘In some markets, such as Dubai, the credit card you use says a huge amount about your status and your success. Even in more understated cultures, such as in South Africa, people want brands that reference their worlds,’ says Vanessa Keevil, brand manager for Visa CEMEA.

• Launched redesigned global brand identity in 2005, designed in-house and implemented by Landor Associates in San Francisco
• Bite – now part of Loewy – is retained as brand consultancy for Visa CEMEA
• Former FutureBrand chairman and chief executive John Elkins joined as executive vice-president for global brand and marketing in 2003
• Visa is a private membership association jointly owned by more than 20 000 financial institutions worldwide

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