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Negative Space Logos with Examples and Analysis

When you design you don’t always have to include all the bells and whistles, sometimes you will find that simplicity and minimalism works best. As the great Plato says, “Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity.” That quote can’t be anymore appropriate for the art of logo designing and it really comes into play when designing a negative space logo.

Negative space usage in logo designs is steadily becoming popular among the design community. Despite what you might believe at first glance, these seemingly simple and clever designs aren’t as simple as they may appear. Designing a visually appealing negative space logo requires not only a lot of creativity and talent but the ability to yield a logo that also reflects the message of client.

Below you will find some cleverly designed logos followed by a brief insight on why I think these logos work. Creating a negative space logo is complex task and requires you to put your brain to work. Hopefully along the way you will find yourself inspired and challenge yourself in designing your own negative space logo.

Texas Wine

The Texas Wine logo is ingenious and simple. The logo itself is created from one image that relies on the negative space around it to actually generate the logo. The designer is using word association, in this case Texas and the image of a bull. The structure of the bull’s head also gives the allusion of an upside down wine bottle. The logo is effective in communicating the company’s name.

Banana Bird

Banana Bird logo gets right down to the point that the design itself could easily be identified without the company’s name. The overall bright yellow background really helps catapult the design and goes hand in hand with the banana design. The canny concept about this logo is that it is a dual image. At a glance it is just a bunch of bananas while in another glance upon seeing the small circle at the right will give you a view of a fat yellow bird with its wings lifted. The use of the tan shapes helps balance the image.

In the Woods

Mynus’ “In the Woods” design really takes creativity and utilizing negative space to a whole new level. Unlike most designs he actually uses an image, though subtle, as a backdrop for his logo instead of settling on a solid color. The use of a smoky brown color gives the logo an earthy feeling and works well with the forest theme. What really makes this logo stand out though is how it ingeniously fits four subjects(an eagle, a wolf, a tree and a bear) into such a small space without making the logo appear crowded.

Whitewashers

Incorporating the service a company offer in a logo can be difficult at times. However, Whitewashers logo succeeded in that aspect and it is a brilliant design. Like the “In the Woods” logo, the “Whitewashers” takes on four designs (fence, paintbrush, grass and the letter W) and seamlessly mends them together. The green background really allows you to see the grass better while the position and sizing of the fence posts shape a “W”. Another thing that is really creative with this design is how the grass can easily be interpreted as paintbrush bristles.

Two Knives

“Two Knives” offers a different technique compared to the examples above as it uses texture. The “2” and the font is covered in a wooden texture that immediately calls into mind the brown wooden handles seen on butcher knives. The design is subtle enough that two glances may be required to catch the placement of the two knives but the design completely works.

Hon-ay Deux

Here is another logo that uses color association and the Hon-ay Deux logo takes it a bit further by creating the image of a honey dipper, while hiding the letter “H” in the middle of it. This logo is minimalistic and simple yet very effective with getting the message across. The best thing of all is even without the text  “honey” you would immediately associate it with honey regardless of if you saw the “H” or not.

Inside the Simple Kitchen

Bright colors such as red can really stand out with use of negative space especially when you use a light background such as in the “Inside the Simple Kitchen” logo. The design may seem elementary compared to the previous logos but it still works and uses negative space adequately. By placing two glass next to each other the negative space in the middle is easily rendered as a spatula thanks to three well placed lines. The placement of the spatula also plays off the word “inside.”

As you can tell from the examples above, the key to design an effective negative space logo is simplicity and balance. Creating some logos will be easier than others. Therefore, keep drawing and tweaking your designs. For designing your own negative space logos consider the following tips:

  • Use colors. Sometimes black and white just don’t do justice to your design. If you think color will improve your logo and make it more recognizable than go for it.
  • Look for inspiration. There are so many logo design gallery such as dribbble, logopond. Check out how other designers are creating their negative space logos and take clues.
  • Stay simple. Don’t overcrowd your design.
  • Take a break, rethink and redesign

Most importantly have fun when you’re designing and let your creativity flow.


Author:

Gabrielle is a freelance graphic designer, photographer, filmmaker and animator. She's designed logos, characters, backgrounds and shirts for clients. You can follow her on twitter and on her blog.


  • Philyoungdesign

    The best logos are always very simple. They seem effortless in form, a logo is right when you reach the point where nothing else can be removed or added. It’s pure, perfectly balanced, using negative space adds a clever twist and when successful providing it doesn’t contradict the keep it simple philosophy can be fantastic. Just don’t try and force it for the sake of being clever. They don’t always work and can look contrived.

  • http://twitter.com/creative_nomad_ creative nomad

    great selection! thanks for the analysis, much more helpful then just a post with loads of pictures :)