Banks play new cards

The Access credit card is being withdrawn as from this week after 25 years. The four banks who own Access are launching MasterCard-branded replacements.

The Midland is this week introducing new cards designed by Light & Coley.

The National Westminster is to phase in new card designs – as yet under wraps – by Wolff Olins.

The Royal Bank of Scotland is to launch a new card, possibly to be called Worldwide, being designed by Redpath Design. A bank spokeswoman says nothing has been decided yet but she anticipates an August launch.

Iain Lauder, design director at Redpath Design, says: “It’s a challenging brief and a pretty tough one to crack.”

Lloyds TSB does not yet have a consultancy working on a new design, says a spokeswoman: “We will be talking to our customers first to see what they want.”

Although the “flexible friend” Access brand enjoys wide recognition in the UK, it is unknown abroad and the result has been brand confusion.

While launching a new MasterCard, the Midland has taken the opportunity of redesigning its Visa credit card.

Light & Coley was given a brief to establish a “Midland family” of cards based on an enduring identity, according to a consultancy spokesman.

“We had to create a design that was capable of carrying either MasterCard or Visa sub-branding but which was clearly a Midland Bank card,” he adds.

Light & Coley senior designer Sarah Fagan says the resulting design is “unique and can’t be reproduced by anyone else”.

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