Design & UX
By Jennifer Farley

Logo Design Trends: The Shift

By Jennifer Farley

It’s coming towards the end of the year (where have the months gone?), and around this time people tend to look back and trends and happenings, so I thought now might be an appropriate time to look at some of the popular styles which have been prevalent in logo design. We’ll look at a different trend each week over the coming weeks, and today we’ll start with the shift or overlapping style. (Note: many of these “trends” were around before 2010, they just became more noticeable this year).

The Shift style of logo’s roots lie in print rather than web design and they appear as transparent overlays of color. The shift look appears as letters or objects in RGB or CMYK, appearing as though they are misregistered or printed incorrectly. These logos tend to have limited colors and a very clean look despite the overlapping layers. In the case using pastel colors, the logos look gentle and peaceful, while the logos using reds and dark pinks have a 3D quality about them. That is 3D without wearing 3D glasses.

While the images in logos are obviously static, the shift look gives them a sense of movement or motion which is eye-catching. On first glance these identities look like several elements blending into one, or conversely, one element breaking into several pieces.


So for your design inspiration and visual enjoyment, let’s have a look at a few examples to see what makes these logos unique yet fit into a category.


Mosquito by Jarsson


Double Vision by Jgarnerdesign


Offset Design and Illustration Conference


One Journal Square by Emily Schwartzman


Arterieur and Shapes by Anna Kovecses


Delice by Alex Tass


Illusion Studio by Adrian Knopik


Castle Print by Sean O’Grady


Escape by Bojan Stefanovic

What do you think of these logo designs? Have you seen other logos that you like featuring the “shift” look?

  • rich3tea

    I like the Mosquito logo the most – so simple but effective. In a similar vein, I like the Escape logo almost as much.
    While I understand the message of the Double Vision logo, I find it unsettling.

  • Brian

    Attractive marks. Interested in seeing the BW and grayscale applications.

  • Anonymous

    I am sure a lot of people are going to hate hearing this, but logo design is a dieing trend. Mainly because of such sites like 99Designs, where mass production of logos is actually killing it. While I know is a partner site with 99Design it doesn’t change the ugly truth of it all. I’ll be shocked if this message goes through moderation, mainly because I am stating the obvious.

    Still I did enjoy the logos posted.

  • Tim

    Mosquito and Escape are both done very nicely.

    I wonder if this is in anyway influenced with the rise in 3D TV and movies? When I look at the blue and red ones in particular, I feel like I need to put some 3D glasses on to see it pop out.

  • Vin

    I’d like to see you use examples from larger companies. We talk about “trends” in logo design but shouldn’t trends be initiated from the larger more visible brand updates?

  • Josh

    The CastlePrint logo has been around since early 2008. I knew I’d seen it somewhere

    So much for trends.

  • Anon

    I don’t really see this as a shift or new trend. Transparent overlays in logos have been around for quite some time.

    I also agree with the previous poster. Logo design aint what it used to be. You can have a nice logo made for peanuts these days and it’s only going to get even cheaper, killing the market further.

  • I like Adrian’s Illusion Studio logo. It speaks for the brand..

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