7 logos by Pentagram (from the top): Orchestre Philharmonique Luxembourg, Museum für Film und Fernsehen, Alibris, Truvia, Mohawk Paper, Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership, and Bausch + Lomb
It would be all too easy to collect a current batch of brand logos—each featuring overlapping, transparent colors, but it’s telling that these marks were all done by the same design studio: Pentagram.
Not to imply that the overlapping-transparent-colors thing is their “house style.” (They do tons of work, most of which does not rely color transparency.)
What, then, is the purpose of this graphic device?
While the transparency and the blending of colors may have symbolic meaning, in a few cases…
“In the new identity, the ampersand becomes a transparent medical plus sign that conveys that Bausch + Lomb is open and committed to partnering with the medical community.
The element of transparency also suggests vision, as well as the liquid solutions that are an integral part of the company’s product lines.”
Most of the time, the transparency is more of a means to a visual end result:
“The new mark is comprised of four overlapping transluscent colour rings (cyan, green, magenta and yellow), resulting in a multi-colour blossom-like symbol that forms the shape of the letter O. The identity brings a sense of energy, diversity, fun and passion to the OPL brand.”
Why the prevalent use of overlapping transparent colors? If we can cite examples going (at least) as far back as Schwop, can we still call this a trend? Or is it just one of many currently-fashionable styles of trade dress?