3 positively clever ways to use negative space in logo design

Are you looking for some fresh new branding 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 to help inspire your future logo and branding package projects.

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

Row 1: Leo, Heyo, Viet Huynh. Row 2: Aditya Chhatrala , Aditya Chhatrala , 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 branding burger fast food food food and drink identity leaf logo mark negative space plant symbol vegan vegetable veggies
  2. Bottle + Leaf bottle icon leaf logo mark minimal negative plant space symbol wine
  3. Homelogic apartment branding bulb creative home house icon iconic light logic logo mansion marketplace minimal negative space residence smart startup think thinking
  4. Gents Barber Club - Logomark Design brand identity branding clever illustration smart visual cleverlogo for sale unused buy identity designer lettermark logo design concept logomark logotype designer mark designer negative space negative space logo negativespace scissor smart mark smartlogo suit tuxedo typography
  5. Movers Logo Design - Branding brand design brand identity brand identity design branding branding style guide corporate identity logo product logo design startup branding visual identity
  6. Rebel Music branding fist geometric icon logo logo design minimalist music music note negative space simple simple design
  7. Filecastle Logo brand building castle clever concept creative file gradient house illustration logo logo designer minimal negative space paper storage top 9 top nine tower vector
  8. Musicstar branding fan logo microphone music negative space stage star
  9. Fire horse! animal app big sur brand brand identity branding fire flame horse icon illustration ios logo logo design logodesign mark mustang negative space symbol visual identity

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

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

Row 1: Dima Lytvynenko, Kakha Kakhadzen, Deividas Bielskis. Row 2: Aditya Chhatrala , 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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