5 important things that happened in design this week

A new logo for Mastercard, a new interior design concept for Starbucks and insight into augmented reality – we round up the important design news from the last seven days.

Mastercard launched a new logo for the first time in 20 years


Two discs, red and yellow, linked together with horizontal lines – this symbol has become synonymous with one of the world’s biggest financial brands. So much so, that consumer research found that 80% recognise the Mastercard brand from the flat, circular shapes alone.

This week, Mastercard underwent a major rebrand, completed by Pentagram partners Michael Bierut and Luke Hayman. The outdated drop-shadows are gone, the stripes no more, and the 1980s-style typeface ditched.

The new logo sees two abstract, translucent, overlapping red and yellow circles, with a modern, clean sans-serif logotype, which has been removed from the centre of those well-known circles.

The new look aims to bring Mastercard into the digital age, says Bierut, while ensuring a smooth transition without confusion or backlash from consumers. “I don’t think anyone’s seen the new logo and thought, ‘Wow, that’s clever’,” says Bierut. “I think they think ‘Isn’t that what it already looks like?’ There was the argument that the two circles and two colours could be entirely abandoned – but brand familiarity and equity is really valuable.”

Starbucks launched a new interior concept for speedy coffee drinkers


Starbucks has opened a new express café concept in London this week, which looks to satisfy the coffee cravings of busy commuters in the financial district more quickly.

This follows on from cafés of the same express concept based in New York, Toronto and Chicago.

It includes an early order point via a touchscreen at its centre, where customers can place their order before speaking to a server, alongside an open-plan walk around interior space, and five other digital screens displaying a more succinct menu.

Based in Canary Wharf, the café is aimed at busy commuters on their way to work who need to grab a quick caffeine fix before getting back to crunching numbers.

Designers told us about the future of augmented reality

Fullerton, United States - July 13, 2016: Image of people playing pokemon go game on an iphone smartphone devices. Pokemon Go is a popular virtual reality game for mobile devices.

With Pokémon Go-ing viral across the world this month – currently with more daily users than Twitter on Android phones – we thought it was a good time to speak to designers and developers about the future of app game design.

Focusing on augmented reality technology, they told us about other contemporary examples – such as an audio-immersive zombie game that forces people to run out of sheer fear – and spoke about the considerations and challenges designers face when creating games for mobile.

For a more in-depth read, head here.

The new Design Museum opened its first public space

© Beep Studio
© Beep Studio

The new Design Museum isn’t set to open until November but in the meantime, designers and design-lovers alike can peruse collections in the museum’s new store space.

The shop opened last week on Kensington High Street, a few steps away from the site of the future museum, the former Commonwealth building.

Designer John Pawson has created the interior design space, which will include a curated selection of “design classics”, says the museum, alongside collaborations with designers and arts book publishers such as Phaidon.

Collections will be “always changing” and “fascinating”, says Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum.

The new museum will open on 24 November.

Theresa May appointed a new Culture secretary

10 Downing Street in London

The UK’s new Conservative prime minister Theresa May announced her new cabinet last week, which includes new culture and business secretaries.

The two main governmental departments which affect design businesses are Culture, Media and Sport, and Business, Innovation and Skills.

John Whittingdale was sacked as Culture, Media and Sport secretary, and Karen Bradley took his place.

The Business, Innovation and Skills department has been scrapped and replaced with the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy department, which will be headed up by Greg Clarke.

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