How to Turn a Negative into a Positive using Nothing but Space

Negative Space Examples

I had one of those dry lightning moments the other day. I was looking for inspiration to create logo designs. Suddenly, I remembered something my art teacher once said," Sometimes the best use of space is to fill it with nothing at all."

At the time, I didn't know what she meant, but like any good art teacher, she had me research it and bring examples to class. This was the moment I learned about negative space, and that's what I'd like to spend this installment of the template of the week talking about.

Negative Connotation; Positive Results


Artistic purists will argue that there is no such thing as negative space. There is only shape and counter shape. I'm inclined to agree, but I find when trying to explain the concept to people outside of the artistic community, it usually works better if I use language everyone can relate to.

Negative space has been a design inspiration ever since the discovery of optical illusions. That teaser that stretches the communication capabilities between the eyes and the brain. It's why you can solve a visual puzzle that asks, how many faces do you see in this picture?

Designs that use negative space or minimalist elements are fun, intriguing, memorable, and most of all, effective. All that said; people seem averse to the idea.

Clients see space in a design and lose sight of the inspiration and sales potential. They want the logo made bigger or the space filled with type. Why? They are not sure that what they see will sell.

Companies like: FedEx, McDonald's, Volkswagen, Adidas, and Starbucks have all had great success using these visually striking elements in their campaigns. Almost nothing draws the eye in faster than a good or intriguing use of space.

Spark Something that Resonates with Others

Hidden Faces in a TreeIf you embrace this concept you will not only spark design inspiration, your customers will be inspired by and drawn to your business as a result.

Give an uncommon choice a chance. Let the design work for you. Remember, it doesn't have to be complicated; it has to be effective.

I'd like to end this article with a shout out to our Plastic Printer design teams. These guys know what works. They know how to optimize space, color, text, and graphics on a card-sized canvas.

There are a couple of ways you can approach your business card design project. You can either download a template off of our website or you can upload a draft of an idea into our design tool. It doesn't have to be flawless. It doesn't have to be finished. It just has to give us an idea of who you are, what you do, and the core message of your company.

Have your artwork reviewed by our designers

Once we receive your design concept, we will contact you within 48 hours to help improve, solidify, and finalize a working design for your business cards and other promotional items.

Through design inspiration and teamwork you'll end up with an industry-defining, eyebrow raising piece of pocket-sized promotion that is unlike anything card-carrying traditionalists have ever seen.

Embrace the chance to get inspired and contact us today!