If you’ve met the person that groans when food on their plate touches, you’ve met the individual that will wince at these marks. Not only have designers removed any pretense of separation of elements, they’ve flaunted this layering of graphic components and even doubled down here and there to cloudy results. The majority of these deliver an engaging message that avoids overload and cleverly invites scrutiny. The formula for most is to build a top high-contrast layer with clear information and load it on a subordinate graphic that completes the story.
Two layers is good. Three layers is manageable. Four layers is a complete wreck. If the background is not decipherable, the dominant top layer of information will still function. These are generally akin to badges with a mixture of illustration and typography, but less separated by a hierarchy of scale and more by contrast. As these examples indicate, the aesthetic can range from vintage nostalgia to farm fresh based on what you’re looking to dish up.