25 Best Examples of Negative Space Typography in Web Design

As any web designer will tell you, the most important design aspect of a website is its typography. When it’s done right, you hardly notice it at all, but when it’s done wrong, it screams of amateurishness and low budgets. We’re all sick of seeing the same old tried and tested fonts online, but very few designers are brave enough to do anything about it. A few intrepid designers, however, are pushing the boundaries by employing negative space typography in their work. The results, I think you’ll agree after viewing the 25 examples below, are superb.

It’s no coincidence that the vast majority of the websites featured in this article belong to individuals and organisations employed in some form of visual communication- whether it’s web design, graphic design or even cinematography. These people know what it takes to make a really great, original looking site and they’re not afraid to use it. Negative space typography can be difficult to read, but it doesn’t have to be. The examples explored below prove that it can add clarity to any design.

1. Alpha Multimedia Solutions

Alpha Multimedia Solutions is a web development and video production agency with a keen eye for cutting-edge graphic design. The word “ALPHA”, capitalized and in a large, negative typeface, can be seen on its homepage, each letter merged into the page’s main body.

2. Freelancing

There’s lots of negative space typography going on here, particularly on the homepage, where it can be seen in the “Follow Us” Twitter button, the page’s titles and the Freelancing logo itself.

3. FedEx

At first glance, you might wonder where the negative space typography is to be found here. In fact, it’s extremely subtle. You’ll find it in the FedEx logo itself, found on everything FedEx does. Take a look between the “E” and the “X” and you can see a little arrow. Found it yet? Not really part of the web design, but interesting nonetheless.

4. Rikcat Industries

This website is all about simplicity, clarity and minimalism. Negative space is used in the Rikcat Industries logo as well as in some of the call-to-action buttons. It looks really slick.

5. Pixel Umbrella

Nick Robinson of Pixel Umbrella is a master of graphic and web design. He often uses negative space typography in his own work. Unsurprisingly, it can also be found in his own site too, most noticeably in the header, where the word “Pixel” occupies negative space in a small, pixel-like square.

6. Klipp og Lim

If you can steal your eyes away from the sumptuous images of chocolates in the slideshow on Klipp og Lim’s homepage, you’ll be able to spot the company logo and navigation buttons, which have been cut out of a solid black bar.

7. siteInspire

siteInspire offers a portfolio of beautifully designed websites as well as an informative web design blog, so it’s only right that its own site should look spectacular too. You can find negative space typography in the logo in the top left of the screen, as well as in the categories list.

8. SUM

Branding and communications agency, SUM, uses negative space typography in its Venn diagram-like logo for a really crisp look. When visitors to the site hover over the buttons in the navigation bar, they turn red and the words become negative. Very clever.

9. Dropbox

Dropbox is a fantastic app renowned for its simple and straightforward design. Its website is no different: visitors are efficiently ushered into downloading the free app as there’s very little else you can do. The main “Download Dropbox” call-to-action button uses negative space typography and the results are, visually, incredibly clear.

10. Bonsai

Like Rikcat Industries, Bonsai’s website is highly professional with a minimal black-and-white aesthetic. Negative space typography can be found in the square Bonsai logo, which looks really clean.

11. Gravica Design

Gravica Design is a highly respected visual communication strategy firm based in Philadelphia. Negative space typography can be seen throughout the site, letting the company achieve a really stylish, modern design with plenty of white space.

12. ab+c

Homepages don’t come much cleverer than this super-cool design from web development agency ab+c. It features a series of words, some in negative typefaces, which change to reveal new sentences and meanings. I love it!

13. Narrow Design

Portfolio sites can often be boring, but not this one from Narrow Design. Visitors can scroll through past work quickly by simply moving their mouse up and down. The titles of each project are displayed in negative typefaces.

14. Socio Design

Negative space typography can be found on the homepage and throughout the site of trendy graphic design agency, Socio Design. Words are cut out of blocks of colour, creating a really up-to-the-minute look.

15. Adobe

What Adobe doesn’t know about graphic design, frankly, is not worth knowing. It comes as know surprise to me, therefore, that they use negative space typography in everything they do, including their website. Where? In its logo.

16. Digital Devotion

This German website manages to use tons of pink and purple on its website yet maintain a degree of class. Negative space typography is used in the banner at the top and in the navigation buttons on the left-hand side.

17. Spectra

Spectra’s website is unique: a perfect marriage of spectacular design and great user experience. Negative space typography can be seen on most of the buttons on the site, of which there are, literally, hundreds.

18. Smart

You’ll be hard pressed to find a website more interactive than this one from Smart, the car manufacturer. Visitors are invited to “Design” their own Smart car or “Drive” one interactively on their computer, over various courses. Both of these words are written negatively on small black blocks.

19. David Hellmann

The logo in the top left corner of David Hellmann’s site has been cut out of a block of blue, revealing the background colour beneath. Roll your mouse over it and the words change, guiding visitors back to “Home Sweet Home”.

20. Eclectic Pulp

Similar to David Hellman’s site, the logo in the top left of this page incorporates negative space typography, with the words removed from a block of colour to reveal the background underneath. The same can be said of the buttons in the navigation bar, which change colour when clicked.

21. Jan Reichle

Jan Reichle is a director/cinematographer. His great work covers everything from corporate to music videos. The use of negative space typography could not be clearer on his site, with a large letter “R”, in negative of course, on the left hand side of the page.

22. AIGA/NY

Negative space typography can be seen used in AIGA/NY’s logo, with the word “AIGA” cut out of a solid black square. It’s also apparent in the various navigation buttons, which turn into red blocks of colour, throughout the site.

23. Jason Mayo

Jason Mayo’s logo is simple, but superb. It wobbles, changes colour slightly and then settles into a solid black circle with the word Mayo cut out in the middle.

24. LifeLab

Unlike some of the more monotone examples in this list, Australian real estate company, LifeLab, has gone for a colourful, vibrant look. Nevertheless, negative space typography can be seen throughout, such as in the logo and the navigation bar.

25. The Brand Union

You’d be hard-pressed to find a better use of negative space typography than in the amazing logo for The Brand Union- a great mix of negative space and colour. When visitors first open the page, they are greeted with a large, expanding version of the logo itself.

Related posts:

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  3. 10 great off-white websites
  4. Designing a logo from scratch part 1: Creative Brainstorming
  5. A website is more than just good design

TomWalker
James is a blogger and designer who works for an online supplier of franking machine cartridges. Read more of his work on his blog.


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3 Comments

  1. Thomas says:


    August 1, 2010

    I’m mega happy for my mate appearing on this list (Jason Mayo). He’s a remarkable creative who really deserves his recognition.

  2. 25 Best Examples of Negative Space Typography in Web Design | Crafted Copy says:


    September 23, 2010
  3. Zeth says:


    November 18, 2010

    Indeed! I like it. Bonsai (number 10) is my favorite. I like it simple and elegant - but yet experimenting, like you point out in the intro. I like it.