Are you a keen adopter of minimalism and white space in your brand? In our blog today, we’re exploring exactly what white space is in digital and print design and how to effectively use it in your next design.
What is White Space?
White space is the ‘negative space’ around design elements. It is a space that doesn’t contain any text, images, or shapes within a design space. Effective design choices utilise this white space to create a visual hierarchy. It’s a psychological effect that will signify the order of importance that information should be digested in. It doesn’t just apply to text – images, videos, graphics, or any visual elements can be displayed in a way to strategically influence users’ decisions and perceptions, as long as we follow some simple design principles.
White Space, Not Wasted Space
Novices may be tempted to fill every gap in a design to ‘make use of the space’. This is particularly telling for printed material, where some regard white space as wasted space. You are, after all, paying for the whole page to be printed. Filling all of the gaps actually reduces the sense of visual hierarchy and causes a disconnect between elements. By using some tried and tested visual direction, the eye is drawn to particular objects in order of importance. For example, in this post, your eyes will naturally be drawn to the headings first, and the paragraphs second. The titles act as visual anchors for the page to determine a sense of order. Imagine if all the text was the same size – where would you look first?
Less is More
Manipulating the position and order of visual elements takes skill and practice. Design architecture can be built on some simple principles:
- Clarity – a well-balanced design choice will evoke a clear message, guiding the eye’s attention to the most important elements first
- Hierarchy – this reinforces the brain’s need for logical order. A top-down approach will create a clear order in which to absorb the information. Design elements can be prioritised into primary, secondary, and tertiary elements.
- Sense of Structure – through clever use of scale, colour and contrast, designs can be organised into a visual language that effectively targets the attention of your target audience by satisfying their own unique needs and expectations.
Let it Breathe
The most effective design choices are those that allow for breathing space between elements; those weighed down by visual noise and clutter detract from the user experience and dilute the overall message. The ‘less is more’ philosophy allows for greater impact using a few necessary – but well-chosen – design elements.