The brand was launched as Master Charge in 1966 as a sub-brand of the Interbank Card Association (now Mastercard Incorporated), and its now-iconic red and orange (later yellow) circle logo was introduced for the first time.
In December 1979, Master Charge was renamed as MasterCard, retaining the circle design from the previous logo but with a new wordmark added.
In April 1990, the 1979 logo was redone, with the wordmark changed and italicized and the intersecting circles design changed to show horizontal stripes instead of a darker shade of red. Although a new logo below was introduced in 1996, this logo is remains in use on newer infomercials.
In September 1996, a drop shadow was added to the wordmark, and the number of intersecting lines between the circles were reduced. Although a new corporate logo was introduced in 2006, this logo remains in use on the cards themselves as well as on infomercials.
On July 14, 2016, the company, with its name now spelled as Mastercard (with a lowercase "c"), changed its logo for the first time in 20 years. The text was moved off of the circles, and the circles were changed back to the original interlocking design, while using the same colors as the 1990 and 1996 logos. This change makes it look slightly similar to the original 1979 logo design, albeit with orange in the center instead of a darker shade of red. It was later universally adopted by all of Mastercard's sub-brands in October 2016.
On January 7, 2019, the "Mastercard" text was removed, as most people could recognize the red/yellow circles as Mastercard. This version of the logo, called the "Mastercard Symbol", is used on payment methods (such as physical cards and digital wallets), decal stickers (used as acceptance marks) and some marketing materials. All other uses remain using the 2016 logo.
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