Our new Monese cards

Changing direction

Joe Allison
Jul 4, 2019 · 5 min read

As the only physical Monese brand object that our customers interact with every day, our debit cards are one of our most important assets. While thinking through our new brand positioning with “Be free”, and planning out our pricing update, we saw this as a great opportunity to redesign our cards to push our brand forward and improve our product offering to customers.

Having redesigned our card system around a year ago, we now saw the cards as having a slightly different purpose; to give each price plan its own identity, and reflect the progressive value we offer through each plan. With this in mind, we started to consider how the cards could work differently.

For our previous UK account cards we were using our brand secondary colour which is a vibrant green, with a little added blue to take away the grassy hues that can come with some shades of greens. Whilst our Monese green renders well in screen RGB, it was really struggling to maintain its aesthetic in print over a PVC base of the debit cards.

We tried various custom Pantone mixes, and a range of intensities to add more ink to the base, without losing any reversed out elements such as the Monese logo and contactless icon. This helped the colour to an extent, but we still couldn’t match the same level of vibrancy which makes our Monese green stand out.

Although we heard positive feedback from many customers about our green UK account cards, we also received some negative comments that only reflected our own thoughts on the appearance of the green. We knew we had to make some bigger changes.

A new direction

We observed each day that when customers use their Monese card, they usually hold it vertically. Whether it’s being waved over a contactless reader, or sliding into a chip & pin/ATM machine, our cards are most often held in portrait. Combining this with the fact that horizontal cards with embossed numbers were originally designed to meet the needs of obsolete card reading technologies; we decided to explore a vertical orientation for the design. After some initial testing internally with employees and externally with users, we saw some real excitement for the new designs, and decided to commit to the new orientation!

Less is more

Simplifying the design was one of our main aims. We looked at ways we could change or remove the coloured shapes from the fronts of the cards, but we wanted to further simplify the design and remove what we could. This led us to move all the personalisation to the back of the card, leaving the front very minimal. Also adopting the new simplified master card logo to remove yet more elements from the design.

Our new cards represents each of our three product price plans. Simple, Classic and Premium:

Simple

With a bright pearl base, and a shimmering metallic Monese logo, our simple cards glisten with a little extra magic.

Classic

Proudly painted in our trademark Monese Blue over a pearl base coat, our classic cards have an added layer of depth and vibrancy. Combined with a matching silver foil for the Monese logo, card edging and magnetic strip, these cards stand out with elegance.

Premium

Shimmering in a deep dark midnight blue, glows a sapphire like gem of a Monese brand icon. The gleaming edges and textured sparkle of these cards radiate luxury.

Wrestling with the printing press

As a design team for a digital banking service, most of our current skillset falls within digital product design and UX. Once we’d designed the cards digitally, our next big challenge was to achieve this in print and match the digital vision as close as possible.

We rode a learning curve as we tested a series of printing techniques including: Pearls & Silvers, screen, CMYK, litho, custom Pantone mixes, glitters, premium metallics and foil inlays. We ran a range of samples on the press for each card until we could settle on an outcome we’re proud of.

Holographic edging

Each card has its own metallic printed edging, lending itself to each design. Our Classic cards feature a matt silver edging that runs as a consistent silver and blue theme through the classic design. Our Simple and Premium cards feature a distinct holographic edging which glistens to complement their contrasting backgrounds.

Our new cards mark a turning point in the development of our Brand as we continue to scale and reach out to new audiences. In the same way we approach product development, we aim to continually test and improve our cards as we grow, so we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

We’re more than excited to announce that our new cards are now being shipped out to all new customers!

Thanks for reading

P.S. We’re hiring in London, Tallinn and Lisbon
careers.monese.com

Monese Insights

Product & Engineering insights from the Monese team

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store