Thursday, 20 November 2014

Best use of (negative) space

I have to admit to loving logos. Not all those horrid swooshy ones, or whatever you get from 99designs, but clever, artfully designed logos with an idea - and a meaning. Or several meanings.

There's a wonderful collection of 40 brand logos with hidden messages here (care of oomph! who have a pretty good logo of their own). Some I've seen before, some are new to me. Some are just brilliant, like the Shelter logo with the "h" made into a house - so simple. Or the Baskin Robbins logo with its pink 31 in the middle. Or, seeing as I'm in Germany, the super Kölner Zoo logo above, complete with cathedral using up the negative space.

All good communication, from logos to TV ads, works best when there are layers of meaning for people to discover. These may work at the subconscious level and quite often the creative people involved will be consciously unaware of the symbolism that they have built into the design or ad. This is because most good creative people work with symbols instinctively, without any dreary analysis of the "which stimulus can we throw into this to trigger X response" sort.

But of course those layers of meaning are in the eye of the beholder and it's worth checking that your brand new logo doesn't have too much unintentional undesirable meaning. There are plenty of logos with hidden swastikas or dubious sexual acts to be seen in the internet, too!


Barbara Fisher said...

The Kolner Zoo logo is very clever. I spotted the giraffe but didn’t see the rhino or the cathedral. I also like the one for Toblerone.
I had no idea so much went into the design of a logo. I must pay more attention to them in the future.

Sue Imgrund said...

Some of them are almost like those illusions or ambiguous pictures - is it a duck or rabbit?