Visa redesigns marque and card

Visa International has overhauled its brand identity and card design, as part of a repositioning to become a payments company.

According to John Elkins, the company’s executive vice-president for global brand and marketing, the strategy has been in development for the past 18 months and included, at various stages, consultation with Interbrand, Wolff Olins and Landor Associates.

The final brand designs were created by Visa’s in-house team, headed by design director Greg Silveria. Landor’s San Francisco office will work on the implementation of the identity, which will be rolled out across point-of-sale material and Visa cards over the next three years.

The brand rethink comes as the proportion of Visa’s business derived from handling payment transactions continues to grow. Last year, revenue from debit payments exceeded credit for the first time. The company is also involved in on-line transactions and authentication systems.

‘We have become a payments company, and we needed to shift the Visa brand towards payments,’ explains Elkins.

The redrawn Visa marque drops the two horizontal coloured bars, freeing up space for a larger typeface, particularly on smaller media, such as bank cards and PDAs. Space on the cards is also increased by the removal of the dove hologram, which is now incorporated into a magnetic strip security device on the reverse.

‘The Visa logo can be up to 40 per cent larger on the front of the card. There is also more room for communication and design by our member banks,’ says Elkins.

Visa will undertake a communications campaign between now and the end of the year, when the first cards and merchant signage will begin to appear.

Elkins was the founder and former chairman of FutureBrand.

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