June 10, 2016
When I was in art school, many years ago, I had a history of advertising class. I don’t remember much from that class, but I do remember this one thing —Think Small. This was the famous Volkswagen ad, by the well-known agency DDB, depicting a bare background with a small VW Beetle in the upper left of the page and text at the bottom. Your eye automatically focuses on the car surrounded by a sea of white space.
What I mean by white space is the areas on a page, printed or digital, where there isn’t any content or elements—negative space. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s white. White space is fundamental to good design. Used well, and it will make your design attractive and readable. It also plays an important role in brand positioning.
Why is White Space a Good Thing?
• Easier legibility
White space reduces the amount of text readers see at once and makes reading easier. Words that are easy to read will be read more often. Say more with less words. This also improves reading comprehension and allows for easier scanning of content.
• Create balance and hierarchy
Adding white space is a great way to add balance to a page. When a page is cluttered with images and text, your eye darts all around the page not knowing where to look first. Adding white space provides a clear path for recognizing and understanding the information on a page. It helps distinguish hierarchy of content.
• Sets the right tone
White space can create a clean, fresh, elegant look to your design and brand. Consider Nike and Apple who use white space in their advertising to show that their products are high quality. We’re bombarded with advertising all day long; white space can give you a sense of peace.
• Increased focus
As I mentioned at the beginning with VW’s ad, white space around an object draws your attention to that object. Sometimes smaller text on a page surrounded by white space will pique someone’s interest more than a big bold text—it adds interest.
White space is not empty space that needs to be filled; it’s an important part of the design. Done right, it actually will help reinforce your brand, and drive home your message with fewer words.
If you need help designing your website and maneuvering white space, contact fatrabbit CREATIVE today!