Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Today's Lesson: Positive vs. Negative Space

       There are many principles of design, each help create captivating imagery. However, one particular principle is stressed over and over again in some of worlds best logo designs. The relationship between positive and negative space helps give a logo an extra dimension without making an image too complex. Remember, when creating your logo try to keep the image as simple as possible. For instance, the more colors, lines, and shapes your logo has, the more complex the image. We will deal with simple vs. complex imagery tomorrow, now back to positive and negative space.
       Negative space (sometimes referred to as white space) is the space around and between an image. Therefor, negative space is created from positive space. For designers, playing with positive and negative space can create an extra element or dimension for an image or design. The Rubin Vase optical illusion is a prime example of the extra dimension created if we use positive vs. negative space to our advantage. 

Here is an image of the Rubin Vase found from:

The properly placed positive and negative space in this image creates a unique illusion. The viewer alternates between their perception of what is and isn't positive space. This back and forth between seeing two faces (black space) and a vase (white space) makes for a captivating image. Let's take a look at some logos that use this design principle in order to create this illusion, or extra dimension.

FedEx Logo Created by Lindon Leader in 1994

        The negative space between the "E" and the "X" creates an image of an arrow. This arrow represents the sending and receiving of mail, a service that FedEx provides.
Ed's Electric
Ed's Electric Logo created by Josiah Jost in 2008

        The letter "E" is negative space created by the surrounding positive space (image of an outlet being plugged in). This logo shows once again how you can keep it simple and still get the idea of your brand across. Thanks for reading, let me know what you think. Comment below with ideas, questions, or feedback. 

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