Negative space, also known as the white space, is the space around and between the colored graphics of a design. Logos that effectively utilize the negative space are always interesting to look at. It is used in logo designs to form innovative shapes or letters that are relevant to the businesses. It often becomes the strongest point of connection between the brand and its logo. The negative space usually goes unnoticed unless the designer uses it artistically. It takes a lot of effort on the part of the designer to maintain the right balance between the positive and negative space in a logo design. The optical illusion that is created by mixing the two spaces helps in highlighting the areas that reflect the objectives of the business. Below is a collection of logos that have used the negative space brilliantly.
Adobe Systems Incorporated in as American computer Software Company founded in December 1982, by John Warnock and Charles Geschke. It is headquartered in San Jose, California, USA. The company focuses on multimedia and software products, along with rich internet application software development. The name ‘Abode’ is adopted from the ‘Abode Creek’ in Los Altos, California, which ran behind the house of one of the founders of the company. With the launch of its flagship product Photoshop in 1989, Adobe developed a leading edge over its competitors. Adobe’s first logo was designed by graphic designer, Marva Warnock, the wife of John Warnock. The current logo has evolved out of the original and retains the basic shape of ‘A’. This ‘A’ has been created out of the negative space between various red angular shapes.
Toblerone is a chocolate bar made by Kraft Foods and is well-known for its distinctive packaging and its prism shape. Toblerone was created by Theodor Tobler and Emil Baumann in Bern, Switzerland, in 1908. The company is not only famous for its chocolates but also for its logo that makes intelligent use of the negative space. The logo is in the shape of the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps. What is amazing in the logo is its use of the whitespace to create a bear silhouette. The bear is the local mascot of Bern and highlights the origin of the company.
National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American television network and former radio broadcasting network. It is also known as the ‘Peacock Network’ because of its stylized peacock logo that was designed for color broadcasts. Radio Corporation of America in 1926 formed the NBC, which was the first major broadcast network in the United States. The original NBC logo was designed by John J. Graham in 1956. This eleven feathered peacock logo was adopted due to the increase in the company’s color programming. The current NBC logo was introduced during the company’s 60th Anniversary celebration. It was created by Chermayeff and Geismar. The peacock’s head was flipped to the right to suggest that it is looking forward and its feathers were reduced to six from eleven. The six feathers reflected NBC’s six major divisions at that time ― News, Sports, Entertainment, Stations, Network and Productions.
FedEx Express is a cargo airline based in the United States. It is a subsidiary of FedEx Corporation, and it delivers packages and freight to more than 375 destinations in nearly every country, each day. The FedEx logo was designed by Lindon Leader of Landor Associates in 1994. Behind the logo’s apparent simplicity, there is a hidden arrow. This hidden arrow, pointing towards the right, is in the negative space between the letters ‘E’ and ‘X’. It stands for the speed and accuracy of the company’s delivery services.
The WWF is an international organization working on issues related to conservation, research and protection of environment. It is the world’s largest independent conservation organization that has over 5 million supporters and operates in more than 90 countries. It supports around 1300 environmental projects around the world. WWF logo uses the black and white spaces to represent the Giant Panda, which is the organization’s mascot. The logo was designed in 1961, by WWF’s founder Sir Peter Scott and has undergone little change since then.
The Hartford Whalers were a North American professional ice hockey team, based in Hartford, Connecticut, United States. They played in the National Hockey League (NHL) from 1979 to 1997. In 1997, the Whalers franchise was relocated to Raleigh, North Carolina and it became the Carolina Hurricanes. The original Hartford Whalers logo was designed by Peter Good, who was a Connecticut based designer. The logo has a green ‘W’, with a blue whale’s tail to form the letter ‘H’ in the negative space. The letters ‘H’ and ‘W’ stand for the team’s name and the whale’s tail is also in tune with the name ‘Whalers’.