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Negative space

In graphic design, creativity and skillful use of the available elements of the whole, discussed in previous articles, are extremely important. .

There is, however, one more element of the design composition we haven't mentioned yet. It is an integral part of any logo, illustration, or graphic. It has a huge impact on the originality of the work, its perception and attractiveness for recipients. What do we exactly mean by negative space? Read on!

A few words of introduction

Let’s first clarify that negative space has nothing to do with being bad or unfavorable, quite the opposite!
This term was taken from the photographic terminology in which the negative means the opposite, i.e., the colors are reversed, light areas appear dark and vice versa. In this field of art, the term negativealso applies to the background. And this is what we mean by negative space –the background.

In the digital world

Let’s refine this definition a little bit. The negative space in art, as well as in graphic design, is everything that surrounds the objects and elements of a given image. It also includes the space between these items. The image can be in a form of a text, graphics on a poster, company logo, or an inscription on an advertising billboard. This type of background is most conspicuous when it takes a specific, interesting and familiar shape.
Negative Space, projekt logo dla Bartłomieja Wojewódzkiego.
Source: project carried out for one of our clients.
In visual arts, including digital design, negative space is a much-needed tool. Skillfully used, it allows you to create original, eye-catching designs.

Negative Space –the basis of the composition?

Negative space is an integral part of the composition; not only because the background is a “side effect” in the process of work creation, although it is one of the reasons. After all, a logo or graphics cannot cover all available space. There will always be some light between letters, or some space between two shapes in the graphic. And because such a “blank space” will inevitably appear in the composition, you can use it and make it an asset of your project!
Negative Space, projekt logo dla Cbd by Panda.
Source: project carried out for one of our clients.
Negative space is indispensable in the composition as it gives some breath and respite to the project. Free spaces between the elements of the work give the whole a light, minimalistic expression. Thanks to this, the recipient does not feel overwhelmed by the content or by the message conveyed by the project. Skillful inclusion of “blank space” in the composition helps to achieve a balance and increase the attractiveness of the design.

How can uou utilize Negative Space?

Depending on the type of a design, negative space may take different shapes, so its use will differ. In text projects, remember to include light between column spacing, line spacing, and paragraph spacing. And how about the visual arts?
The blank space should emphasize the key elements of the design, which is particularly important when creating logos, for instance. It should be included in the design in such a way that both the space and the elements of the design are eye-catching and meaningful.
Using negative space requires imagination and a departure from classical, conceptual thinking and the meaning of an object. This space motivates the recipient to perceive the work through its shape, therefore it should assume well-known and easy-to-understand forms.

Why is it worth using Negative Space?

Skillfully used, negative space is one of the most important tools in the hands of a graphic designer, because:

Where is Negative Space used?

Negative space is often used by graphic designers when creating orders for entrepreneurs. The former, in turn, take advantage of negative space when they wish to build the visual identity of their company. Thus, negative space can be used in the company’s logo, which appears on websites, stationery, etc. Negative space can also be noticed in the broadly understood public sphere, for example on billboards, product packaging, or advertisements.


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