Brand of the Day: Redesigning MasterClass

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MasterClass has always been a powerhouse when it comes to online learning, setting itself apart from its competitors with a list of instructors including Frank Gehry, Spike Lee, Anna Wintour, Shonda Rhimes, Margaret Atwood, Annie Leibovitz, Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Serena Williams, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and many, many others.

Launched in 2015, the company has now rolled out a new identity created by New York City-based branding studio Gretel.

“We came on board to help the brand and marketing mirror the elevated offering and motivate subscribers to see the potential and the value in a subscription,” Gretel Executive Creative Director Ryan Moore says. “The system we’ve created together is dynamic, accessible and built for further iteration.”

The identity sought to reflect MasterClass’ vibrant and bold instructors, while channeling the cinematic and the sophisticated. All told, it’s a marked departure from the company’s former brandmark:

As David Schriber, MasterClass’ CMO says, “It’s not about a new design, it’s about an evolution. MasterClass has moved into mainstream culture, and the brand’s transition from product to household name has never been more apparent than in the past year. We wanted to create a contemporary identity connected to culture that each member and instructor could own along with us.”

As for some specifics of the work:

One highlight of the new brand identity and, most notably, in the new logo, is the use of the underscore. This simple line is reinforced throughout the reimagined platform and conveys the white space that’s up to the member to complete—a blank space to be filled, a new skill to be learned, the potential and possibility of today.

MasterClass is a portfolio of individual classes taught by a diverse set of instructors. To illustrate this, each instructor now has their own unique visual identity, including logo, font and colorway, that will bring their personal style to the comprehensive MasterClass branding. This element of the redesign also reinforces the notion that members and instructors can be a part of a new way of learning through the MasterClass ecosystem, while still maintaining their individuality and interests.

See how Gretel brought more of the new identity to life below.