Logo Design: 4 Reasons Why You Should Take Advantage of Negative Space

by . May 24th, 2012

Creating a logo is probably the most complicated project any designer would handle. It requires an extensive study of the company and their market, creative thinking, and possibly a few sleepless nights. A logo is a complex specimen: creating one is a science by itself.

A proven technique in logo design is the extensive use of negative space. We’ve seen this used by different successful companies on their logo, and these company logos are well-received by their market and by different consumers.

What’s Negative Space?

You may have first encountered negative space through images projecting optical illusions. It’s tricky, because the space around the subject creates an interesting shape that becomes the “real” subject of the image. A popular image using negative space that’s been circulating the internet is Rubin’s Vase. The image shows a well-proportioned vase, where once the space around the subject is given emphasis it provides an image of two faces in profile.

Although it’s a bit confusing when applied to artworks or designs, it can easily be adapted in creating minimalist logos. Negative space in logos can be manipulated to create relevant imagery that can easily be associated to the company.

Why Go Negative?

Negative space has its advantages when applied to logos. It makes your logo standout and it provides a unique first impression to a company’s market. It’ll also provide a unique visual experience to the people who’ll encounter the logo. Here are some reasons why we think taking advantage of the negative space on a logo will benefit you:

Logos that utilizes negative space works effectively in catching a person’s attention by tapping their curiosity. This will lead the person to investigate and eventually discover the brand and the company it represents, and the products they sell.

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Negative space is often used to create subliminal images that are relevant or directly related to a company’s type of business, tradition, or symbolism. A popular example can be seen through FedEx’s logo. If you’re going to look closely on the negative space between the letters E and X on their logo, you’ll notice a directional arrow. This symbolism can be related to FedEx’s type of business and a possible reference to movement or transfer.

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One of the primary goals of a logo is to be straightforward. This can be achieved through honest design and some negative space. If you haven’t noticed, logos that are designed based on negative space already incorporate multiple images into a single logo. This is achieved by creating multiple layers of negative space combined with a color selection.

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Being able to add multiple images in a logo can lead to a recognizable and unique logo. With the use of negative space you will rely less on common logo imagery, and use more relevant images or symbols related to your client’s needs.

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If you’re planning to make a logo using negative space, you can check out samples of Noma Bar’s artwork for inspiration and techniques. I’ve written a guest post featuring his works at Slodive.

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