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What’s Next: Discovering the Positives of Negative Space

Our newest What’s Next article has been submitted by Philip A. Provins,

Negative space, in art and graphic design, refers to the area around and between the subject of an image. Negative space becomes apparent when the space around a subject, and not the subject itself, forms an interesting or relevant shape. Often, negative space is used to form the “real” subject of an image.

The use of negative space is a key element of artistic composition. In a black-and-white image, a subject is usually depicted in black and the space around it is left blank (white). However, reversing the tones so that the space around the subject is printed black and the subject itself is left blank causes the negative space to be apparent as it forms shapes around the subject. This technique is called figure-ground reversal.

The use of equal negative space, as a balance to positive space, in a composition is considered good design. This basic yet frequently overlooked design principle gives the eye is known to increase the appeal of a composition through subtle means.

Here are a number of interesting and effective examples that illustrate the use of negative space in graphic design:×195.jpg

A.G. Low Construction logo

By Rebecca Low

(A floor plan is the hidden visual.)×195.jpg

Martin Newcombe Property Maintenance logo

By buddy

(A house is the hidden visual.)×195.jpg

Nexcite logo

By Amore

Via Blair Thomson

(A heart is the hidden visual.)×195.jpg

American Institute of Architects Center logo

By Pentagram

(The skyline is the hidden visual.)×195.jpg

Ogden Plumbing logo

By Astuteo

(The plunger is the hidden visual.)×195.jpg

World Wildlife Federation

By Sir Peter Scott, modified by Landor×195.jpg

FreemanWhite logo

By Malcolm Grear Designers

(The F hides within the W.)×195.jpg

The Brand Union logo

By The Brand Union×195.jpg

Egg n Spoon logo (same day couriers)

By Thoughtful

(See the egg and the spoon?)×195.jpg

Human logo

By Social UK×195.jpg

Eaton logo

By Lippincott×195.jpg

USA Network logo

By Peloton Design×195.jpg

CultureBus logo

By Pentagram×195.jpg

Carrefour logo

Original design examined by Miles Newlyn×195.jpg

Sinkit logo

By smashLAB×195.jpg

FedEx logo

By Lindon Leader while at Landor×195.jpg

Hands On Network logo

By Duffy & Partners×195.jpg

NBC logo

By Steff Geissbuhler while at Chermayeff & Geismar

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