There are times in life and in design when more is less, and minimalist design is one of those instances. Quite simply, minimalist design makes use of negative space, bringing a single color (in this case black) to the forefront and creating a bold statement with it.
In a nutshell, minimalism is when you strip away all the noise and unnecessary items and focus only on what you most want your design to say. Black and white logos are the perfect example of a minimalist design. Below, you’ll find 12 amazing black and white logos that will inspire you to create your own minimalist designs.
Black is a powerful color anyway, but place it on a white background, and it really makes a strong statement. In this particular logo, Joel Sailo, the designer, used a powerful image of an ape combined with the color black to create an intense image.
Note, too, how the designer reflects the beginning letter in the typography by arranging the ape’s arms so they form an “S” as well. This is a brilliant addition to this logo that you may not even realize is in the design, but which will have an overall impact.
2. Playboy Bunny
This logo is immediately recognizable. The logo was designed back in 1953 by Arthur Paul, who was a freelance designer at the time. The use of negative space surrounds the logo and creates interest points for the bunny’s eye and at the neckline.
If Paul’s design proves anything, it proves that you don’t have to create an extravagant and complicated design to make an impact. Sometimes the simplest designs really are the best.
3. Southern Monument Builders
At the same time, however, you can use black and white designs to create a more complex image. For example, Southern Monument Builders has a logo that is black and white but is much more detailed than the two previous logos mentioned above.
Note the scrolls that make this look like an official crest. Additionally, the lines in the center of the image work to draw the eye to the tools shown there. The different size fonts for the text add another element to the design, putting the emphasis on the word “southern.”
4. Dianne Dieplo
Another way that designers can utilize black and white in their logo designs is by doing a negative of an image and making black the main background color, or the negative space, and making white the positive space. This can create a powerful logo that draws the eye strongly to the white on the page.
Note the way the designer uses the white to make a bold statement with the letter D, which is central to the overall design. You can easily choose a single letter that relates to the name of the company you’re designing a logo for and repeat the power of this design.
Wikipedia’s entire website has a very simplistic design. You won’t find a lot of bells and whistles at this site, just a lot of basic information. Their logo reflects this approach by remaining simplistic itself.
The Wikipedia logo is in the shape of a white globe with black and gray elements to make it look like it is made up of puzzle pieces. The logo is pretty interesting in its use of negative space. The white in the logo is used to show missing puzzle pieces at the top of the globe, which draws the eye and makes the viewer want to complete the puzzle.
The apple logo is likely one of the best examples of black and white minimalist logo design. Apple uses a very simple image of an apple with a small bite out of it. This logo appears on all their products, their website and on any printed materials. People immediately recognize it as Apple’s logo.
Because the logo is sometimes black and sometimes white, the negative space also varies. On their actual products, apple sometimes uses silver or gold logos on a colored background. For example, on a rose-gold iPhone, the logo is silver, and the rose-gold serves as the negative space.
Nike uses both black typography and a graphic combination to create a simple, but powerful logo. Using the name of the company within the logo allows Nike to brand their products.
Similar to Apple, Nike sometimes makes the logo white and sometimes makes it black. No matter which color is chosen, though, both the logo graphic and text are the same color.
Disney uses straight typography in their logo design. This works well because it puts the name right up front for the person viewing the logo. There is no doubt that the logo belongs to Disney when it says “The Disney Company.”
Note that the typeface is quite unique. If you are only going to use words for your logo, make sure the font you use stands out as unique to your brand.
9. Louis Vuitton
One of the most recognizable logos in the world is Louis Vuitton. The crisscrossed “L” and “V” in the logo create strong, solid lines and angles that show that this brand is a power player.
Like many of these black and white logos, LV is sometimes black against a light background and sometimes white against a dark background. The key here is to create contrast.
The accent marks in this logo are what sets it apart from all the other typography logos out there. Also note how the O is slightly larger than the other letters surrounding it.
The key to this logo standing out is in the slight variation in letter sizes and the accent marks that set off the best way to actually pronounce the brand name.
Coach combines both words and graphics to come up with a unique logo that has the image of a stagecoach on top and letters that spell the word “Coach.”
Note how the letters in the logo are fit and thick. This puts the emphasis on the brand name. The stagecoach image simply shows that the company is established and timeless.
12. On Wine
Because of the ability to manipulate both positive and negative space when using black and white to design a logo, On Wine has come up with a logo that looks like a wine bottle at first glance.
However, take a step back and look again, and you will see the words of the brand within the design of the bottle.
Let These Black and White Logos Inspire Your Next Project
These 12 designs show you how a simple black and white logo can take on a life of its own. Once you’ve mastered the concept of positive and negative space, you can begin to apply these elements to your own designs.
About The Author
Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dogs, Bear and Lucy.