MasterClass brand identity

Category: Brand Identity; Entered by: Gretel

MasterClass is a streaming platform offering tutorials from some of the world’s best and most famous experts, in fields stretching from design to food to business. After five years in existence, the brand has moved solidly into mainstream culture and become a household name.

The assignment for design studio Gretel was to unify and elevate the MasterClass identity, and to evolve the brand across visual, verbal and motion expressions. The design language needed to reflect the brand’s sophistication and best-in-class offering while allowing the instructors’ unique personalities to come through.

The overall design language is inspired by cinema, with a nod to the production value and quality of the classes themselves. Compositional and typographic cues reference the language of film posters, and a filmstrip device also captures the idea of an edit in still form, allowing the instructors, their knowledge, craft and expertise to be seen across many frames at once.

The logo is an evolution inspired by the original mark. A modern take on a classical serif, it intends to leave room for interpretation – a subtle nod to critical thinking. The implied underscore reinforced throughout the platform conveys a blank space to be filled or a new skill to be learned.

Brand-level expressions are consistent, featuring a single typeface and a signature colour. But each instructor now has their own, distinct visual identity: a unique nameplate, font, and colourway to complement their personal style within the MasterClass brand. A limited secondary colour palette and just two type families provide an extensive variety of combinations to support the growing roster of experts and expertise.

Client: MasterClass
Design: Gretel