Negative space is a creative technique of an interestingly artistic shape around the subject of an image. The effect is best produced in a black and white image, where the subject is kept in black and the remaining white space forms another illusionary object.
Negative space is an extension to the art of minimalism where the design is stripped down to its basic elements. The concept of using negative space in design has been derived from Psychology and depends upon the perception of the viewers. One of the most famous optical illusions is the “Rubin Vase” that shows a vase formed in negative space between two human heads.
Negative Space in Logo Design:
Lately, this creative technique has crept into the world of logo design as well. Since there is relatively less space for design elements in an identity, the objective of a logo designer is to use most of the space. Most clients ask their designers to keep the logo simple and effective. They would request that the logo should speak volumes about their business. For the purpose of keeping the logo minimalist and effective, the concept of negative space is employed.
One of the most famous examples of negative space in logo design has to be the FedEx logo design. The renowned corporate entity cleverly conceals an ‘arrow’ sandwiched between the letters ‘E’ and ‘x’. Mr. Lindon Leader of Leader Creative was the famous logo designer behind this creative work. Without using additional design elements, the designer has carved out a meaningful arrow in the negative space. The arrow literally speaks volumes for the courier service and denotes progress and its ambitions for continuous growth.
Negative Space – It’s all about perspective:
As I mentioned earlier, the conception behind negative space is playing with viewers’ perspective. Human psychology reveals that people’s perception can be altered through visual images. The purpose of a logo design is to lure the customers into favoring a particular brand.
Hence, the core objective is to alter the perception of the customers in favor of the corporate entity you are designing for. This is a very challenging task for a logo designer considering the lack of room for creativity. The designer has to obtain maximum results while keeping the design minimal. This is where negative space comes into play. Another great example is the WWF logo that creates a Panda using negative and positive space.
Tips for Using Negative Space in Logo Design:
Being a logo designer myself, I have learnt some techniques of implementing negative space to create the subject of the logo design. Here are some guidelines that you can keep in mind when you try to create a minimal logo design using negative space:
- Simplicity is the Key – Since minimalism involves reducing the design elements down to the bare minimum, keeping it simple is the key in implementing negative space technique.
- Use Reverse Perspective – As mentioned earlier, negative space is all about psychology and perspective. In order to employ creativity in negative space, use reverse perspective and view the logo from the targeted audience standpoint.
- Keep It Condensed – Another useful pointer in implementing negative space in logo design is to keep the elements condensed and tight. The less space you leave, the more your subject and object will make sense to the human eye.
- Subtract Unnecessary Parts – When you have decided on what object is to be carved out of the negative space, the next step is to keep subtracting the unnecessary parts until you get a perfect meaning for the corporate identity.
As a graphic designer, you must remember that there is always room for creativity. A little negative space can always be turned into positive space when making logo designs. All you need is to think outside the box and change your perspective for a change.