Have you ever come across a logo, realizing that you liked it, or didn’t like it, but not sure why? What did you like about it? What did you not like about it? Most likely, one of the reasons why you liked, or didn’t like it was because of the negative space it had. So what purpose does negative space utilization solve for logo designing?
Defining negative space
Space is a fundamental parameter while designing a logo for your brand and is often the most underrated as well. The term negative and positive space originated from photographers who refer refer to the subject in their image as positive and the background as negative. Simply put, anything in the image that’s not drawing immediate attention is negative space which can be the image itself, a patterned background, or just a block of color or text.
In layman’s terms, negative space is defined as the empty space around an object that determines how appealing it appears. It is the open space around your object in the logo. Since a majority of audience don’t really appreciate over crowded logos and artwork, giving your logo some negative space gives it a much more defining touch. This lets your audience visualize the whole design better and process the information easily in small discrete chunks. For instance, if you put a black logo on top of a white background, the white in the background is what’s referred as negative space.
Negative space – logo designers’ first love
Designers love playing with negative space while designing logos. This is because logos that extend the boundaries of negative space are clever, and at the same time, creative. Even with the hidden creativity and a deeper meaning, logos that utilize negative spaces are generally subtle and simple. It is about hiding a shape or figure inside the logo or the icon. Its created in a way that people don’t instantly notice the hidden shape but after they do, it creates a whole new level of appreciation for the logo and the thought behind its design.
Reasons why designers consider negative space?
Logos that utilize negative space intelligently do more than just providing a visual appeal. They tend to bring other factors to your brand like:
- Simplicity: They adapt to different contexts effortlessly and are future proof.
- Depth: They show your audience that your brand has a greater depth.
- Connection: People who are able to figure out the hidden meaning of your logo feel connected to your brand.
- Uniqueness: Once your audience start recognizing the hidden meaning in your logo, they would naturally tend to remember your brand more and it will always be memorable to them.
Does your brand need negative space in logos?
Generally, deciding whether or not to go for a logo with negative space depends on the type of image you wish to create for your brand. It also depends on what you want your brand logo to communicate through to your audience, and how much do you wish for your audience to find out about your brand themselves. Depending upon what you wish to achieve with your logo, utilizing negative spaces can offer you many benefits:
- Effectiveness: Logos that utilize negative space work effectively in catching your audience’s attention and generate a general curiosity about your brand. For instance, a brand logo like the one shown below will definitely make its audience curious about what it resembles. Apart from guessing, your audience will develop an interest in knowing more about what your logo is about.
This curiosity will lead your audience to investigate, and eventually notice the brand it represents, and the products you offer.
- Subtlety: Sublime images are often created using negative spaces that relate to your firm’s type of business or tradition. For instance, let’s discuss one of the most popular brand logo displaying negative space utilization – FedEx. The ‘FedEx’ logo has won numerous brand logo awards and is lauded in every logo designing course. If you look closely, negative space between the letters E and X represent a directional arrow. This symbolizes FedEx’s business type and is a possible reference to transfer, movement or direction.
With such subtlety in your brand logo, you’;; be able to connect to your audience better and now, your logo speaks for itself. Your brand logo becomes your company’s identity.
- Straightforwardness: One of the primary objective of creating a brand logo is to be straight forward. By combining multiple layers of images inside the same space, designers achieve the straightforwardness they need. The ‘Wi-Fi technology’ logo is a great example of how to mix straightforwardness with negative space utilization.
- Recognition: Utilization of negative and free space in your brand logo can lead to a more recognizable and unique brand identity. When you have negative space to utilize, your brand will rely less on common images to create a brand logo. Hence, the uniqueness.