Negative Space Logo: Basic Principles, Types and Benefits

Negative Space Logo: Basic Principles, Types and Benefits
Article by Jelena RelićJelena Relić
Last Updated: August 06, 2022

Whether rebranding or creating a brand from scratch, a logo is the face of the brand. A logo will be placed on emails, documents, social media, and other innumerable business, sales, and advertising assets.

Have you ever come across a logo that made clever use of space? Such logos might go unnoticed at first but can have a deeper meaning. Such a logo is known as a negative space logo.

This refers to leveraging the negative space to create a deeper meaning and subtle messaging that aligns with the brand.

While the word ‘negative’ might not have a great connotation, it means that the space in a logo is left unused, and the focus is on the main elements. These elements include the texts, images, shapes, or initials.

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What is a Negative Space?

Negative space is the unactualized space left after an illustration design is completed. Often this negative space can help create a classic logo.

In simpler terms, negative space is the extra space around the subject and not the subject itself

Despite being rarely used, these empty spaces play a crucial role in determining how the logo comes out. Such a strategy is an ingenious way to convey multiple brands aligning thoughts and visions.

The logo can be filled with hidden images, initials, names, and details about the business. It uses white space between logo design negative space, letters, and pictures to create an illustration. The space where the elements are placed is known as positive space.

Adding too many elements to the positive space can make it challenging to figure out what's happening. Hence, giving individual elements room to breathe and shine can drive clarity.

A Negative space logo design can paint a picture of the brand's offerings and value. Without enough negative space and elements, the negative space can turn out to be too crowdy and may even look confusing.

Instead, negative spaces can be used to add more meaning or even an optical illusion to make it engaging and exciting. Examples of popular brands that have innovatively used negative space include Spartan, FedEx, mister cooper, WWF, and more!

Why Use Negative Space?

With the world of marketing developing at lightning-fast speed, a relevant logo's significance also grows. Although with the growth of marketing, the audience's attention span also shortens as a brand has almost 7 seconds to make an impression.

A negative space logo can help communicate directly and subtly with the readers. This can be beneficial in communicating the brand identity aligned with a better composition. This makes the designs simple and more effective.

The rising competition is yet another reason why brands need to stand out from the competition.

Benefits of Using Negative Space in a Logo

A carefully crafted logo can help businesses with endless benefits. Some of them are listed below:

Boosts Creativity

Utilizing the negative space requires balance and creativity, which is when the customers appreciate the creative aspects. An out-of-the-box design can showcase the brands' ability to think unconventionally and be innovative with their products.

Such illustrations can increase brand recognition as creative logos tend to hold the audiences’ attention for longer. For example, 94% of the world’s population recognizes the coca cola’s logo, and 50% of the brands tend to shop with the brand they identify with.

An intriguing logo invites audiences to study and uncover the subtle layers of meaning. Creating meanings with the mental association can significantly pique the audiences’ interest.

Drawing inspiration from industry leaders can help brands hit the ground running. Drawing inspiration from other brands can also help bridge gaps in the current logo. This can add versatility to the logo negative space.

Helps Maintain Simplicity

Adding more elements to the picture can create counterproductive effects. Negative space allows working with the existing area, allowing brands to maintain uniqueness without creating more clutter.

Further, a decluttered logo gives the brand a subtle and straightforward look.

Using the negative spaces with relevant imagery can help add more consistency to the logo. Brands can appealingly maintain simplicity by experimenting with colors, lines, and simple elements. This can also give an artistically relevant shape.

Holds Attention

Generic logos can be easily forgotten, and the one crafted cleverly stands out. Using the negative space with more thought can stick with the audience for a longer time and get people thinking about your offerings.

By using the resources innovatively, a responsive logo design can derive more creativity.

Drives Engagement

By adding images and hidden messages to your logos, brands can create more optical illusions driving further excitement and engagement. Adding graphic elements, subliminal messaging, and secret details can lead to an intriguing logo.

Types of Negative Space Logos

Check out the types of negative space logos below:

Double Entendre

They blend negative and positive spaces with a symbol or text by converting them into a negative space illustration. This results in two images, which creates an optical illusion.

This can be done by displaying the brand's name and showcasing the offering.

Playing with Faces, Shapes, and Initials

Pareidolia is a phenomenon of seeing faces in images that don't have pictures. By implementing this technique, you can personify the brand that may otherwise lack personality.

What kind of face you want to pick may depend on the brand; it could be a friendly face, a funny one, or a mystic one. If a brand uses alphabets, extracting shapes from the negative space can create an intriguing design. Overlapping is a great way to work with negative margins. A similar thing can be done with shadows and 3D ideas. This can help give dimension and depth to a logo.

One of the most common examples is the FedEx logo. The logo has won over 40 awards since it was created.

Blending Spaces

Brands can blend positive and negative spaces with a symbol or text, making it into a negative space illustration.

This can be like a standard illusion portrayed as a merger between both aspects. However, it’s vital not to utilize negative spaces too evidently. While adding elements to the negative space, ensure they fit into the primary logo like a puzzle piece. This will be the best way for your audience to find the hidden gems in your design.

Negative Space Logo Best Practices

The use and appearance of negative space can be based on multiple aspects. Here are the best practices to enhance them further:

1. Highlight Core Aspects of the Business

Rather than creating a logo with abruptly fitting elements, it is an excellent opportunity to position the messaging just right.

Negative space can help with scope to add depth, colors, and dimensions. The negative space can work as a visual highlighter than a space to forcibly fit everything in; instead, make it an opportunity for these aspects to be visible to your audiences.

Brands can also merge two elements to highlight the core offerings.

2. Consider Subtracting

A common issue that resurfaces is subtracting regarding limited space and elements in negative and positive areas.

Brands can add more negative space by reducing clutter to bring out what's required. Since the first draft is never perfect, working on iterative drafts can give a clear picture to balance the negative and positive spaces. This doesn’t mean you need to start from scratch; reiterating and subtracting certain elements can help.

3. Ensure Adding Negative Space in the Initial Phases

Looking for a negative space at the 11th hour is certainly not the best practice.

As mentioned above, it’s a no-brainer to include the negative space in the initial phases. This helps the brand to evade iterations innumerable times. This allows you to plan it through an organic phase. This further helps cut down on multiple iterations or logo redesigns.

4. Create Contrast with a Color Palette

Ensure the color you work with aligns with the brand and catches the eyes of your audience. This can add more depth and dimension, creating multi-dimensional images.

However, the intent of using colors might not be evident at the first look, but it can be when contrasting shades and audiences begin to engage with the brand and logo.

5. Consult a Professional

There is nothing like seeking help from an expert. Consider consulting a skilled graphic designer to have a high-quality logo created. Professionals can quickly help harmonize the positive and negative space logos, colors, dimensions, and visual elements.

Besides the ideas, their technical prowess can also help translate your vision to reality in an aesthetic manner.

Negative Space Logo – Key Takeaways

There are countless ways to make your brand stand out, and creating a logo that aligns with the mentioned guidelines is a perfect way to do so.

This can help brands effectively communicate their values to the masses while maintaining a unique voice.

Different logos have diverse needs, and trying to fit elements can bring down the brand’s reputation in the long run rather than speaking volumes about it.

However, adding multiple layers doesn’t mean it cannot be simple and should be flashy. Rather uncomplicate the logo, so it's easy to make sense of it.

Professional logo design companies also can help you with this process, so we advise looking for the right agency to partner with for your project.

We’ll find qualified logo design agencies for your project, for free.
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