Design Fail: Poor Use of Negative Space

Utilizing negative space within a logo takes a very keen eye. When used effectively, it adds to the overall composition by creating balance between the positive and negative, and often delivers a deeper meaning or message.

Take the FedEx logo for example.

Child Care Services Logo

It’s very simple in nature, but so complex and robust. With the extreme kerning (adjustment of white space within the logo’s typeface), the designer was able to create an arrow between the E and X.

On the other hand, poor use of negative space can deliver a very different message. Here’s a logo that I came across on a humor blog:

Child Care Services Logo

At first glance the logo appears to be an adult and a child, which is more than fitting for this type of organization. Let’s take a closer look at the negative space that has been created between the figures.

Child Care Services Logo

A winding road leading to a house. Great visual impact and message here, right? Then what is it that is bothering me to no end?

Child Care Services Logo

The overall concept is great, but what kind of message does the logo send to those who do not see the negative space? Gives their tagline, “Giving every child a great start” a whole new meaning…