VISA logo


Meaning and history

VISA logo history

The Visa visual identity has always been one of the most recognizable logos in the financial segment across the globe, and the company did everything not to lose its individuality with all the redesigns throughout history. The logo we all can see today is part of the badge, created in 1976, and it still looks edgy and modern, as simplicity is the key.

1958 — 1976

Visa Logo 1958

The original Visa logo was introduced in 1958 when the card was launched by the Bank of America under the name BankAmericard. The wordmark in blue sans-serif was placed on a white stripe, which was located in the middle of a rectangular badge with its angles rounded. Above the white stripe there was a blue one and under it — yellow. The emblem had a very thin and delicate double white and blue outline, which added a touch of expertise and professionalism to the image.

1976 — 1992

Visa Logo 1977

The brand changed its name to “Visa” in 1976 and the logo was redrawn in the same year, placing the new wordmark instead of the bold one, on the same badge. The “Visa” lettering in all capitals was executed in a sleek and elegant italicized typeface with the sharp serifs of the letter “V”, stretching to the sides.

1992 — 1999

Visa Logo 1992

In 1992 the color palette of the Visa logo was switched to a lighter one, and the typeface of the inscription was refined, meaning the letters larger, and the contours cleaner. The letter “V” now featured a sharp serif only in its left bar and it was elongated, evoking a sense of movement and passion.

1999 — 2005

Visa Logo 1998

The redesign of 1999 made the inscription even bigger and the colors — brighter, as for the overall composition, it remained untouched, just the white stripe in the middle became wider to accommodate the enlarged wordmark.

2005 — 2014

Visa Logo 2005

The new logo was introduced in 2005. It was just a logotype with no additional graphics, but the blue and yellow color palette got kept, making the sharp triangle on the letter “V” yellow, while all the other letters remained blue. The contours of the wordmark have been softened and now it started looking more elegant yet professional.

2014 — Today

Visa logo

The redesign of 2014 brought the Visa logo we all can see today. Fully based on the previous version, the new badge featured smooth iconic lettering in a dark gradient blue, which is close to purple shades. The new color palette added style and creativity to the image, elevating the logo and making the brand look more exquisite and sleek.


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

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.