MasterCard International is sprucing up its image.

The Purchase, N.Y.-based card association has unveiled a revised logotype that will begin appearing at banks and merchant sites in January, and on newly issued cards.

Though not a radical departure, the new design puts the MasterCard name in bolder relief, making it "more visible and legible from a distance," said Arnene Linquito, vice president of corporate and brand identity for the New York-based card association.

The new look has fewer bars where the yellow and red circles of the logo overlap. The MasterCard lettering is larger, with a shadow behind it.

A dark blue background will be added to make "MasterCard" stand out at point of sale locations. And Eurocard, the affiliated European credit card name, will be integrated with the MasterCard logo in Europe.

The new design will appear on all of the 370 million MasterCard credit and debit cards as they expire and are reissued over the next couple of years, said MasterCard.

The European modification resulted from the recent 10-year renewal of MasterCard's alliance agreement with Belgium-based Europay International. The alliance extends to product development, "harmonized" operating rules, and quality standards.

Europay said new decals will begin appearing in all its countries in the first half of 1997. It plans to tie brand-awareness campaigns to professional soccer competitions in Europe that MasterCard sponsors.

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