I'm an apprentice designer and I often visit websites like Logopond in search of inspiration for some illustrations and logos. I see many logos with a similar style to this:

enter image description here

Meaning they are 2D - flat while at the same time giving the impression of being 3D.

My questions are:

  • Is there a specific name for this kind of style?
  • What is the best and most efficient way to achieve this effect, let's say on a simple square, on Adobe Illustrator?

2 Answers 2


You can create a square, and then, using the Pen tool (P) create a bunch of anchor points to make different triangles like so:

GIF showing creation process

Even before you've added in color it gives the perception of 3D.

You can then go to the Pathfinder Panel (Ctrl/Cmnd+Shift+F9) and use the Divide option.

Ungroup and color with different gradients - at different angles to better make it appear 3D.

In this exact example, this is how I recreated it:

  1. Crated triangle and rounded the corners

  2. Added in some lines using the pen tool and broke up the shapes using pathfinder (or shapebuilder)

  3. Applied gradients

enter image description here


Your reference image is a an example of a logo that uses the flat style. The shapes that make up the logo are very simple but the use of gradients gives them the perception of depth.

There are different ways to achieve this effect with Illustrator. One would be to start with a base shape like a square. Then start layering additional shapes of varying colors on top of the box. Once you create a shape you like select all shapes and use the Divide tool.

Adobe Illustrator C5 Pathfinder Window

Ungroup your shapes with cmd+shift+g, and begin deleting your extra layers. You may need to repeat this a few times until you get the hang of it.

Once you're happy with your layout you can begin applying gradients to each individual layer.

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