Space and shape in logo design can be a tricky thing. Even a good logo design can be tough to use down the road.
Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to space and shape in logo design.
Spacing In Logo Design
The most usable logos are ones that can be easily boxed in by a square or rectangle. Take this into consideration when designing your logo. Ask yourself, “Does my logo fit attractively in a box?” If you stray too far from a basic square or rectangle, you are creating a design problem for yourself down the road. Let’s be clear… IT IS NOT necessarily a logo design no-no, but it could make your logo a tricky fit in tight documents, creating awkward spacing and sizing issues. These two logos are great examples.
Hi My Name Is Mark is attractively packaged inside an oval, making it a pretty simple to use in other materials. Budweiser is also a classic. It’s a great example of an irregular shape that still works inside our standard box.
An example of a logo that creates spacing issues: Indian Motorcycles. Let’s preface this with a disclaimer: this logo is beautiful. However the shape of the logo makes it more difficult to use than other logos. You can probably see even in this blog post how the triangular shape creates awkward spacing when placed alongside body copy.
The Guinness Logo is another example of a great logo that has usability issues. Let’s give the designer a pat on the back for awesome logo
elements… however, there are a few things that make this logo tough to use. First, the harp hovering over the letters creates a negative space on either side that could make it difficult to use for Guinness in some environments. The other problem is that the negative space is slightly uneven given the fact that the G is taller than the other letters. Again, a great logo… but potentially hard to use.
To avoid design issues, you should plan on having a vertical version of your logo as well as a horizontal version of your logo. Plan on both of these fitting into a box of some kind as seen here with the NBC logo, which does the job nicely.
Shape In Logo Design
When it comes to actually designing your logo, you will want to consider shape. Bear in mind what you have just read about spacing… avoid irregular shapes that will create layout design issues.
Consider using negative space to create shape as you see here in the Eleven Music logo. These elements all come together nicely to allow you to understand the number 11 AND the piano keys… BONUS: It totally says “music.”
Make your shapes purposeful. For example, if you are a tire and auto company, a circle is probably better suited to your business than a square. Don’t be cliché about it… but you also don’t want to stray too far from what customers will understand.
Look At Your Logo
Strong logos make good use of space and shape to create an overall look that will catch the eye of your potential customer. Make it attractive, easy to use in your materials and logical.