Understanding Negative Space in Logo Design

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Understanding Negative Space in Logo Design

Referred to as the empty space around an object, negative space helps define an object. Creating the perfect balance of negative space can be tricky, but is key to mastering successful logo design.

Negative Space


When it comes to creating a logo with successful negative space, composition is important. Placement can make or break a design. For example, with the wrong composition, even a simple design can look cluttered and confusing. Making sure that there is adequate space between objects gives the appearance of a simplistic design. Composition not only creates a design that is visually appealing, but also draws attention to the main elements.

NBC logo


The way design techniques are perceived by the human eye are the basic principles of Gestalt. When positive space is placed together with space in between, the negative space can create hidden images. The law of completion happens when an image isn’t completely defined by lines, and our mind finishes it. The best deigns combine these two principles to create a logo that uses negative space to complete an image. For example, the NBC logo combines the positive space of the rainbow feathers with the negative space of peacock head and neck. Solid lines don’t form the logo image, yet the negative space defines it.

Negative Space

Simple Design

Like any design, keeping images simple is essential to creating a good balance between negative and positive space. Logos need to be effortless so when someone looks at them the message is clear and easily understandable. Focusing on simple shapes, with one or two colors, help to erase any confusion a logo might have.

Negative Space

Image Association

A logo needs to be simple yet create impact. Using negative space in a creative way allows a logo to represent two things at the same time. For example, the Spartan Golf Club logo creates an image of a golfer and the arc of his swing in the positive space, while both negative and positive space create the helmet of a Spartan. Its double function creates a strong impact that not only associates the logo design with the company name, but also with its purpose and service. Creating a logo that showcases both these elements creates a stronger design.

When creating a logo design that uses negative space in a successful way, keep the design simple. Negative space is a great tool to add impact to your design.

Still confused about negative space? Contact us for more help.


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