A gathering place for innovators
Opening the envelope for Mastercard Labs
When you’re the global leader in payments and you need a place to conceptualize, test and help bring to market powerful new payments systems to make it easier for customer transactions, where do you go?
If you’re Mastercard, you head down the hall to Mastercard Labs.
With a history of innovative products like Mastercard® PayPass™, MasterPass™ and Mastercard In Control™, Mastercard has demonstrated its consumer-led mission to drive brand affection and preference by creating solutions that meet the needs of consumers, merchants, issuers and government.
Mastercard Labs was created in 2010 to focus solely on global research and development, dedicated to bringing innovation to market with greater speed than ever before.
As a new initiative for the organization, Mastercard Labs’ charter was to concentrate on the front-end user experience. One senior executive described Mastercard Labs as “a playground where we can let things happen in a standalone environment, test them quickly and bring them to market quickly.”
So when Mastercard asked our team to create a visual identity for Mastercard Labs, we knew it had to be as innovative as the group it represented. The optimal identity strategy for this “futurist” R&D team of payment experts and technologists had to position the group’s mission as a distinct strategic pillar supporting the overall Mastercard value proposition: creating, exploring and developing ideas; turning ideas into something that works.
Our first explorations hewed close to the existing Mastercard brand architecture, but we quickly realized that we had to push the envelope. Mastercard Labs needed a logo that stood apart from what was already in place and signaled the unlimited potential and breakthrough spirit of the group.
After exploring and evaluating a wide range of concepts, the idea came to us like the embodiment of an idea in a cartoon: the classic thought bubble. The new Mastercard Labs logo evokes all the thought and imagination that lead to the excitement of the “Eureka” moment. But it also maintains the corporate typeface and recognizable red and yellow brand colors that establishes the right level of connection to the corporate identity, strengthening the parent brand’s reputation for innovation.