VISA logo

VISA logo

History of the VISA logo

History VISA logo

Today, the VISA international payment system is a top financial instrument, which operates nearly in all continents. Originally, it was meant to be a U. S. national payment system. No wonder, millions of people around the world are monitoring this skyrocketing project. Over the past year, the system’s turnover has reached five trillion dollars, and the figure continues to grow.

In 1958, the Bank of America developed and introduced plastic cards named BankAmericard. The today’s card retains the three signature colors featured in that pioneer card. Those are the white background, blue font, and golden design element.

In 1976, the electronic payment system was named VISA, although the key design elements were still there. The VISA logo sported the three basic colors represented by a blue wordmark with a golden element on a white background. At that time, it was not only the BankAmerica that was using the card, but other banks as well, including non-U.S. ones. However, other organizations had to obtain a license to ensure high quality service and security.

Today, the VISA logo is a kind of high-quality mark. More than 22,000 financial organizations in two hundred countries legally use it on their cards.

VISA symbol

VISA symbol

Credit cards were the first items ever to carry the logo. However, debit and smart cards were introduced in the 1980s, and the four major VISA card types – Electron, Classic, Gold, and Platinum – spawned nearly thirty new types. The rapid growth of the ATM network created unique opportunities for physical and legal entities to make payments regardless of location. It would be correct to say that the globalization started with VISA.

The design is fairly universal: there are full-size and small-size cards (ideal for travelers who can attach them to keychains). The data is usually arranged horizontally or vertically (mostly in mini cards).

Early cards featured a pattern of blue, white, and yellow strips, and the VISA wordmark was written in blue over the white strip. The logo itself was very big, occupying one third of the obverse.

The symbol was pretty clear: blue stood for the sky, yellow (gold) – for the dunes of California, where the first Bank of America office was founded, and the gold reserve stored in the Fort Knox Bullion Depository, which is the world’s safest one.

VISA emblem

VISA emblem

It was in 2006 that the emblem was changed first. The strips were gone, but the color combination is intact. Now the emblem sports the system’s name written in the company’s signature blue typerface on a white background. The first letter features a golden scratch-of-the-pen element, which is also similar to a bullion blink.

The font size hasn’t changed either. Now the four letters are scaled to the size of the compact graphic element placed in the lower right-hand corner.

Another important element is a 3D holographic image of a dove. It is a simple yet smart kind of protection, as the image covers part of the card number. The hologram’s color depends on the card type. The simplest VISA card types like Electron and VPay may not feature the hologram and use the dove image and a styled ‘V’ on the surface, which are visible in UV light only. This option helps reduce additional expenses.

Today, the VISA emblem is a symbol of the system’s integrity and benefits intended for users, belonging to different social groups: there are cards for students, teachers, and other categories. They can provide discounts and can be used as IDs, at least in the USA. In many other countries VISA users have other goodies like cumulative bonuses, etc.