This ingenious logo turns negative space into a positive message

Seaquarium Institut Marin logo
(Image credit: Seaquarium Institut Marin)

A clever use of negative space in logos can create memorable designs that add an extra level of meaning to a brand identity. Just think of the much-acclaimed FedEx logo with its hidden arrow - one of our picks of the best logos of all time.

The logo for Seaquarium Institut Marin in the south of France also makes big use of negative space. The design shows two hands cupped together inside a blue circle, but the space between them forms the shape of a dolphin. Together, the two elements effectively communicate the aquarium and research institute's marine preservation and conservation work.

This logo of a French aquarium showing they take care of sea animals from r/DesignPorn

Over on Reddit, people aren't so sure about the choice of typography, but the negative space in the logo design is getting a rare positive consensus ( for the most part). "This is o-fish-ially a great logo. Not that I think they’re fishing for compliments. But let minnow what you guys think," one person wrote.

Although, some don't seem to be quite sure of the aquarium's good intentions. "For me, the hands are getting ready to remove the skin of the fish... sorry." And as for the typography, the consensus is that it could be improved. "The font could work better if the ends of the letters are rounded instead of squared off. The logo itself feels too organic and doesn't work with the sharp edges in the font," one person suggests. 

See our tips and examples of negative space for ideas for your own work. If you need to upgrade your own graphic design tools, see our pick of the best graphic design software or check out the best prices for Creative Cloud below.

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Joseph Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news and features, updates buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment for creatives, from monitors to accessories and office supplies. A writer and translator, he also works as a project manager at London and Buenos Aires-based design, production and branding agency Hermana Creatives, where he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing photography, video content, graphic design and collaterals for the hospitality sector. He enjoys photography, particularly nature photography, wellness and he dances Argentine tango.