3 positively clever ways to use negative space in logo design

Are you looking for some fresh new ideas to impress your clients? Try designing a logo that makes clever use out of negative space. Negative space logos are logos that creatively use the white space within an image (or letter) to create a whole new image. A classic example is the iconic FedEx logo in which a subtle arrow symbol is formed between the letters ‘E’ and ‘X’.

Designing a negative space logo isn’t exactly the easiest task, but there are a few tried and true ways designers like to implement negative space into their logo designs. In this post, we’re sharing three of these different methods.

1. In a wordmark

Can you pick out the hidden symbols in these logotypes? These graphic designers incorporated subtle, relevant symbols into their logo’s typography, making use of the negative space between different letter combinations and areas enclosed within letters:

  1. Egg yellow creative famous egg egg soldiers logo icon clever logo branding icon identity 😂 design smart logo joke logo logo design negative space eggs egg 🥚🥚 🥚
  2. Logo agency team h negative space bolt bold lightning branding logo hero
  3. Golf negative space branding identity golf card golf club custom lettering lettering logotype logo golf
  4. Anitq Logotype top best inspirational minimal type webdesign ux black white subtle app illustration mobile print ux brand logobranding lettermark drawing website logoinspiration business inspiration logodesign creative clever negative space design logodesigner hidden branding identity graphic logotype typograpy wordmark monogram logomark mark logo icon logos symbol
  5. Crisp Restaurant Logo negative space inspiration  idea graphic design type art food restaurant spoon fork subtle modern minimal clever wordmark symbol icon creative brand banding identity logo logos logo design
  6. Film Negative  - space logo icon simple typography branding logo designer logomark minimal filmlogo negative space negative negative space logo film logo
  7. North Woods Series USA Collection negative space
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  8. INK Logo Design word logo wordmark word mark logo mark design logo mark logomark logo type ink negative space logo negative space smart logo inspire negativespace logotype branding logodesign logo design graphic graphicdesign
  9. OARS Logo oar negative space wordmark logo brand identity 829 creative design

Row 1: Leo, unfold , Viet Huynh. Row 2: Aditya | Logo Designer, Aditya | Logo Designer, Alex Aperios. Row 3: Allan Peters, Antonio Calvino, Dan Fleming for 829 Studios.

2. A symbol within a symbol

A negative space logo doesn’t necessarily have to make use of any letters. You can also combine two different forms to create dual meaning behind a single symbol. Viewers will enjoy attempting to find the hidden meaning behind your design, and you’ll impress them with the effortless way you were able to combine two separate ideas. Take a look at these examples of negative space logos to see what we mean:

  1. Veganer fast food plant leaf veggies vegetable food and drink burger vegan food negative space identity branding mark symbol logo
  2. Bottle + Leaf minimal icon symbol mark logo space negative wine plant leaf bottle
  3. Homelogic residence startup mansion apartment marketplace negative space branding minimal iconic logic think thinking bulb creative smart light icon logo house home
  4. Gents Barber Club - Logomark Design typography brand identity lettermark negative space identity designer logotype designer smart mark branding mark designer logo design concept logomark negative space logo negativespace smartlogo clever illustration smart visual cleverlogo tuxedo suit scissor for sale unused buy
  5. Movers Logo Design - Branding logo retail property logomark home insurance font building housing type real estate mark brand identity branding negative shape space branding style guide social network community web security service product logo design alarm protect system hand private house
  6. Rebel Music icon music note branding geometric simple design fist music minimalist negative space simple logo design logo
  7. Filecastle Logo negative space storage gradient minimal clever concept paper creative building tower file house castle top nine top 9 logo designer vector illustration brand logo
  8. Musicstar negative space stage fan branding logo microphone star music
  9. Fire horse! negative space mustang visual identity brand identity flame fire horse big sur app ios animal illustration icon logodesign logo design symbol branding mark brand logo

Row 1: Sava Stoic, Ignas, Deividas Bielskis. Row 2: Wisecraft, Ramotion, Stefan Kitanović. Row 3: Sumesh | Logo Designer, Omnium, Nour Oumousse for Fellas.

3. Inside a letterform

You can also design a clever logo by combining a single letterform with a symbol. In these cases, designers typically keep a letter’s positive space, and incorporate a symbol within the empty space inside or around it. When it comes to logo design, it only makes sense to use a symbol relevant to your brand’s product or service. Take a look at these examples below:

  1. Aquarium vector litvinenko studio concept branding letter mark blue aqua aquarium fish logo mark corporate style brand identity graphic design logo design minimalism idea smart logo negative space monogram a letter
  2. S For Sausage negative space sausage s logotype symbol mark logo
  3. Brandwurst, logo design contrast8 naming joke fun funny worst food meat iconic fun negative space b brands branding logo brand sausage wurst
  4. F for Flight Lettermark / Logo brand branding identity graphics negative space creative awesome inspirational ideas logos modern minimal timeless creative fly wing plane flight f monogram logo design logo icon symbol lettermark
  5. 12 Groves - Logo Grid design brand typography brand identity lettermark logotype designer branding logomark grid layout hidden message logotype icon design smart mark identity designer drop logomark olive oil negative space letter mark monogram pastel color g logo
  6. Biliards creative negative space logo designer logo icon smart logo logo smart logos negative space logo clever logo branding identity logo design black branding black logo pool 8 ball 8 biliard 🎱 biliards
  7. The Wilfred Branding typography illustration mark symbol icon ocean trees mountains negative space logo negative space branding logo
  8. Dog logo negative space d dog doggy show shows smart clever monogram letterform letter letters branding brand identity logo logotype mark

Row 1: Dmitry Litvinenko, Kakha Kakhadzen, Deividas Bielskis. Row 2: Aditya | Logo Designer, Wisecraft, Leo. Row 3: Nick Johnston, Sergey Yakovenko.

Remember that creating an eye-catching, negative space logo design won’t necessarily come naturally. It’ll take some practice and training of your eyes to “read between the lines” if you will. Start making a conscious effort to notice the space around different forms, and think about what kind of imagery might seamlessly fit within those empty shapes. Good luck and happy designing!

For more logo design resources, check out our blog post on how to NOT screw up a logo and our beginner’s guide to wordmark logos.

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