MEET THE NEGATIVE SPACE DESIGN CHALLENGE WINNER!

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Keeping things positive is pretty great and all, but hey - in design, you sometimes gotta celebrate the negative. To see how our artists made the most of space left blank or white, we launched the Our Negative Space design challenge, and per usual, everyone killed it. After long and careful consideration, we finally landed on freehand.dk, from Herning, Denmark, as our grand prize winner! His happy design “Huggers” truly turned the negative into a positive picture. Read on to learn more about the winning artist, and grab his new tee here!

Congrats on your winning design “Huggers”! Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Thank you! I’m a Danish independent designer and art director with a great love for illustration and concept development. I’m married to the girl of my dreams and have a bunch of delicious children.  

Do you typically have negative space in mind when designing, or was this a new style for you?

I guess using negative space, if possible, is a natural part of every designer’s workflow to add uniqueness to a design. For every positive space there’s a negative, right?

How did you come up with the design “Huggers”?

The Threadless challenges are great for relaxing concept sketching between working tasks, and this is how “Huggers” was born. As I recall it I started with a couple of egg shapes embracing each other(!), and after a few more doodles I had two cute bears hugging.

Did you find it challenging to create a design that focused on negative space? If so, how did you work around it?

Designing logos is a part of my job, and I approached this challenge as a logo design challenge. From the start, I focused on using simple shapes and few details. The whole process really felt natural to me.

What inspired this friendly hug between these two bears?

I love design that makes you smile and feel good - honestly! If two bears hugging heartily doesn’t make you feel good, nothing will! ;-)

Would you mind taking us through your design process? Feel free to share some WIP’s, if possible!

Like most designers, I’m inspired by all kinds of detail in the world around me. I’m constantly sketching ideas that I put in binders for possible future use or inspiration. As my alias suggests, I sketch and draw freehand. I also ink my work by hand, then scan and import the artwork into Adobe Illustrator for tracing and coloring. For sketching I use pencils, for inking fine liners and brush pens.

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The best negative space designs are typically rendered in a fairly simplistic manner, which you totally mastered. How did you manage to do so?

Designing lots of logos give you an eye for simplicity, so the good answer here must be: practice, practice, practice.

What advice would you give to other artists trying to utilize negative space when designing?

The negative space is always there. When you find it, work with it and enhance it, then go back to the positive space and do the same. Repeat until harmony occurs.

What’s the most positive thing about your negative space design?

It loves everybody! Really.

Any other shout-outs?

Thanks to all fellow Threadlessers (is that even a word?) for voting for “Huggers”. I hug you all!

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