In art, negative space refers to the area that’s around and between a subject in an image. It brings balance to a composition. Sometimes, the area around the subject forms a shape, and this shape becomes the focal point of an image. Similarly, the area between a subject can form a shape. As with art, logos also use negative space. In this article, we’ll look at 7 clever negative space logo designs.
FedEx is one of the most recognized companies that have a clever negative space logo design. In 1994, Lindon Leader designed the logo. What makes this a clever logo design? There’s an arrow between the letters E and X. And it’s almost unnoticeable at first glance. According to Leader, this negative space was an accident. After doing a few hundred revisions of FedEx’s logo, Leader realized that putting a capital E and lowercase X together formed an arrow. FedEx successfully put the arrow into their logo. In addition, it was used to symbolize what FedEx does in relation to delivering packages “getting from point A to point B reliably, with speed and precision.”
In 2005, Sean Serio created USA Network’s current logo. The network did a rebrand, and they unveiled a new logo and marketing campaign. “Characters Welcome” was the slogan used for the campaign. This represented the variety of shows the network offered. If you look at the company’s logo, you see that the lowercase U and A together form the letter S. Also, these letters are like bookends that hold the letter S.
Cisco System’s (founded in 1984) logo represents the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. In addition, the company named itself after the city. It decided to use the “cisco” part of Francisco. In 2013, Cisco’s current logo was created. Cisco wanted to introduce IoT (Internet of Things) into the company. In addition, Cisco created the “Tomorrow Starts Here” campaign.
French designer Joel Guenoun created the current logo for Tour de France (founded in 1903) in 2002. The yellow in the logo represents the award the winning cyclist receives at each stage. Also, a cyclist appears within the logo. You can see this cyclist in the word Tour.
NBC does a successful job of using negative space in its logo. Steff Geissbuhler at Chermayeff & Geismar created NBC’s current logo (used since 1986). The logo has a silhouette of a peacock. In fact, the bird’s body is an upside feather. In addition, the 6 colors represent the different divisions that make up NBC: News, Sports, Entertainment, Stations, Network, and Production.
In 1961, the WWF logo was created. The organization’s decision to use a panda as its logo came about from a panda named Chi-Chi. In 1958, Chi-Chi was transferred from the Beijing Zoo to the London Zoo. Also, the WWF wanted to use an animal that was an endangered species. In addition, they wanted something that was black and white to save on printing costs. In 1986, Tom Suiter (creative director) and Jenny Leibundgut (designer) of Landor, in San Francisco, created the abstract and minimalistic version of the WWF’s logo. Then, in 2000, WWF decided to change the typeface of the logo to a bold and modern font.
Beats by Dre was created in 2006 by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine. The Ammunition Group created the Beats logo. In the logo, you see the letter B which stands for Beats. Also, you notice that the logo looks like a head with headphones on it.
Comment below what other negative space logo designs you think are clever. For more graphic design information, check out this article on 6 graphic design trends for 2021.