Negative Space

Negative Space

A few days ago I was browsing through the latest additions on the always reliable FFFFOUND! website and came across some great examples of clever use of negative space in logo design. I thought I'd post a few words on the subject seeing as they're quite inspirational and on closer inspection of some of the more familiar faces I've even noticed something new. Yes, I'm looking at you, FedEx logo, where have you been hiding that arrow between the E and X all this time?!

Before we start I should explain what negative space is and where better to find a decent definition than Wikipedia:

"Negative space, in art, is the space around and between the subject(s) of an image. Negative space may be most evident when the space around a subject, and not the subject itself, forms an interesting or artistically relevant shape, and such space is occasionally used to artistic effect as the "real" subject of an image."

The selection of images I saw on FFFFOUND! linked through to a larger collection within an excellent post on the logodesignlove.com website and after reading, digesting and straining my eyes in Magic Eye style where I couldn't spot the illusion I have to say my favourites are Egg & Spoon Couriers (shown above), Elefont, Blade, Yoga Australia, Guild of Food Writers and Mouse with the last two in a tie for first place.

Unfortunatley I don't get to do that much logo design, most clients that come to us already have logos and branding in place, but when I next get an opportunity I'd really like try and use the negative space technique. It looks so simple to do but I bet a design goes through hundreds of iterations before the final version gets settled upon. Less may be more but it's certainly never easy.