Mathew Suen

Shift Logo

Preface SHIFT, the undergraduate publication of the architecture program at the University of Toronto, needed a new look. While the original design sufficed, the 2009-2010 year got a new team who wished to pursue a new direction. The Design The initial concepts were to print out SHIFT in all-caps. Italics were experimented with to give it some dynamism and perhaps a hint of shift. One idea which was strongly considered was the shifting of colours. CYMK was chosen as it implied a shift in the printing process. While this logo looked fine on a white background, problems emerged when it was placed on a polychromatic background or if it was printed in monochrome. The new logos took into consideration the need for versatility. As a two-tone graphic, its primary identity is not colour but form. As a form, it can be adapted to provide maximum contrast with its background, and its identity is maintained as long as it is scaled proportionately. The development of the logo started with a slab-serif type, chosen for its ability to evoke the fluid elegance of a serif and simultaneously the modernity of a sans-serif. Certain serifs were eliminated to streamline the typeface and to draw the eye to the tips of the “i” and “h”, which retain their serifs to give the entire logo a sense of leftward motion. The “s” glyph was redrawn to match the selective-serifed typeface, while the “f” italicized. The shearing of the “f” performed two functions: it provided the literal shift in the logo, while its sinuous curve again plays on the modern elegance which I wanted to be conveyed; it also contributed to the subtle leftward direction of the logo, giving it just a hint of motion. The final version adjusted the “s” so only the “f” would be italicized, further emphasizing its shift from the rest of the logotype.