Negative space is, quite simply, the space that surrounds an object in a image. Just as important as that object itself, negative space helps to define the boundaries of positive space and brings balance to a composition.
More and more these days, the creative world is seeing an emergence of artists creating positive spaces and shapes that, in turn, cleverly carve out shapes in negative space intentionally. And the results can be stunning.
Leeds based designer Alexandar Johnson created this clever Moby Dick book cover for the classic tale Moby Dick. Including both the harpoon and the whale’s tale, it’s simple, striking and brilliantly unique.
Negative space is the empty or open space around an object that defines it. In layman’s terms, it is the breathing room around the subject that determines how appealing it looks. The majority of people don’t like it when designs are too crowded. Giving your subject and other objects plenty of negative space gives them much more definition. Design elements don’t visually melt into a single large blob. Instead, elements are broken down into sections, making them easier to process the information in discrete chunks. This is much easier that trying to process the entire design and all of its parts at once.
Designs with negative space are usually very simple, but the viewer can tell that there is more to the piece. A creative negative space design is more rewarding for the viewer; they get a feeling of inclusion because they figured out a subtle hidden message or image. People, by nature, like to feel included and informed. They enjoy feeling like they are privy to inside information, so when they see a creative use of negative space within logo or design, it sticks out in their mind. This is a highly effective way to add appeal to your designs.
In some cases, less is in fact more, and in others – not so much. In these examples below, though, less is absolutely more. The following designs use negative space to their advantage, and the results are absolutely beautiful.
Rather than showing just the treat, just the dog, or a dog and the treat, this design showed both without showing both. The cut out in the bone represents the mouth of the dog, and the small dot represents the nose. It’s fun and playful, and is much more effective than having shown the full figure of the dog.
Here, we’ve found some brilliant examples :