Negative Logo Design: Theory, Practice and 27 Hand-picked Inspirations

Every artwork has a negative space. It’s an essential part of every design among with positive space and the frame. Your design can not live without negative space as human beings can not live without the air.

Negative and positive space

The negative space helps us to define the artwork, its space and dimensions. It also creates a “land” for our eyes to rest. But sometimes designers manage to create a piece where negative space is an image itself. In most cases, especially when it’s done well, it revealed other side of the product or idea, spuring people to think twice on a design. This communication with the negative space we called negative space design.

I today’s video I am going to show you a technique on how to create a negative space logo using free vector editor Gravit Designer. Furthermore, I decided to include the most brilliant examples of negative space logos for your inpirations. Enjoy!

27 negative space logos

Why negative space logos work

Negative space logos utilize main principles of visual perception, called Gestalt Laws. Most of these principles were developed at the beginning of XX century by group of german psychologists. The aim of the Gestalt laws is to explain what cause human’s brain to compose a group of elements in to a whole coherent design. Let me list some of the most important rules for negative space artworks:

  1. The Law of Proximinity
  2. The Law of Closure
  3. The Law of Figure-Ground
  4. The Law of Multi-Stability

To learn more about Gestalt principles in logo design, please, read this excellent Logo Geek’s article.

Negative Space Logo Inspirations

H&E logo, a personal project by Harvey Esparcia

HE logo by Harvey Esparcia

InShop, by Type and Signs

Inshop logo

 The Veggist, by TYPE AND SIGNS Hamburg

the veggist

Pencil by Reghardt

Pencil negative space logo

Pencil is a self initiated design, exploring how much a concept can be simplified, yet still be effective. This logo has been published in Logo Lounge 6.

Newcastle Food & Wine Festival by Just Creative

Logo design for the Newcastle Food & Wine Festival, Australia.

Newcastle food and wine festiwval by just creative

Lab Open. Playing with negative space, by Abdallah Ahizoune

Lab open

White dots represent the wrists of the doors. It’s on purpose that I have not added more details
to the doors… I wanted the logo to be as minimalist as possible.

Yoga Australia, by Roy Smith

Yoga Australia, Roy Smith
Handson by Tie a Tie.

Handson logo


Ed’s Electric, by Josiah Jost

Eds Electric

RehabFirst, by Josiah Jost

Rhab firts

For a rehab clinic in Texas that dedicated to healing through rehab instead of surgery. The mark creates a monogram “r 1” with a medical cross in the negative space. The owners wanted to subtly convey in the logo that they were Christians. Hence, the bottom portion of the cross in the negative space is about 10% longer to suggest a Christian cross.

 Iron Duck Clothing, by Josiah Jost

Iron Duck logo

French Property Exhibition, by Ray Smith Design

French property exhibition logo

Mister Cooper Ice Cream, by Johnson Banks

Mister Cooper Ice-Cream

Mister Cooper is an ice-cream start-up specialising in alcoholic and gourmet flavours. The company’s frozen fancies are strictly for grown-ups and they needed a distinctive identity and tone of voice to match their unconventional new brand.

Houston Ballet, by Pentagram

Huston Ballet logo

Pentagram has designed a new logo and identity for Houston Ballet. The reworked identity system is the first step in a process of rebranding the company (founded in 1955) as it has evolved over the decades. This marks the most dramatic change in Houston Ballet’s look and feel since 1985.

Houston Ballet, America’s fifth largest ballet company, is an international powerhouse with an ensemble of 57 dancers and an academy housed in a modern, state-of-the-art facility. Houston Ballet has toured extensively throughout the world including appearances in London at Sadler’s Wells in London, at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, at Theatre des Champs Elysees in Paris, in six cities in Spain, in Montreal and Ottawa, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and at City Center and the Joyce Theater in New York. In 1995, Houston Ballet was the first full American ballet company invited by the Chinese government to tour the People’s Republic of China.

Ambush 02, by Pentagram

Ambush logo by Pentagram

Identity for a high end fashion boutique in Singapore

Salt Lake City Public Library, by Pentagram

 Salt Lake City Library, Pentagram

Identity, signage program, and website design for the city’s Main Library building

Lions & Lambs Media Group, by Down with Design

Lions and Lambs mdeia logo

We were faced with the challenge of making a seemingly unattainable vision become an inspiring reality.

Mikey did it, by Gert von Duinen

Mikey did it logo

New logo for Mickey Did It, an adventures, design driven and storytelling animation studio based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Movers, by Ramotion

Movers by Ramotion

Another version of the logo for a moving company

Finger, by Mateuz Turbinski

Finger logo

Page Pro, by Mateuz Turbinski

Page Pro logo

The Guild of Food Writers, 300 million

The guild of Food Writers

Royal Parks Logos, 300 million

Royal Parks Logos

Pelican, by Nikita Lebedev

Pelican By Nikita Lebedev

Fedex, by Landor

Fedex Logo

People aren’t good at restraint, they don’t get that not adding is really a form of subtracting. All of a sudden there was this rush to tell the world the secret. Sort of defeats the purpose, don’t you think? FedEx’s PR firm immediately wanted to supersize it. They wanted to make it obvious, fill it in with another color. They wanted to feature the arrow in other brand communications. They didn’t get it. It wasn’t about the arrow. An arrow isn’t even interesting to look at. It’s only because of the subtlety that it’s intriguing. And not seeing the arrow doesn’t in any way detract from the power of the mark. The arrow’s just an added, novel bonus. We said no way. I tell people this all the time.

Henny Youngman, the comedian, had this whole signature to his act around ‘Take my wife. Please.’ What the PR folks wanted to do was the equivalent of changing his shtick to ‘Please, take my wife.’ If you have to call attention to your punch line, to explain it, it’s no longer a punch line. It doesn’t work, it isn’t funny, and no one will remember it.

Vanderbult University, by Malcolm Grear Designers

Vanderbuilt Universaty logo design

Spartan Golf Club, by Richard Fonteneau

Spartan Golf Club logo

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