What was the first thing you noticed about this banner? Chances are it was either the happy couple or Something Borrowed, they both drive home the same message. It was effective in standing out because it was not overcrowded with copy, images and logos.
Using white space is an effective way to draw your eye to a particular point, and can also improve message retention. But in order to use white space effectively you have to know what it really is.
It’s a simple answer isn’t it? But white space, also known as negative space, is more than just a blank canvas. That “white” area could actually be composed of color or texture. It even exists in those spaces between and around words. The most professional-looking ads have been designed with white space in mind.
Many times people want to fill every square inch of the space. However, it is better to use the less is more approach, and use negative space to put the emphasis on actual content. When you don’t use negative space, the viewer is overwhelmed by images and text, making it difficult to retain the message. You can’t do that without some white space.
These elements are the most important when it comes to using white space:
- Consider the main message – Be sure that you are surrounding the most important part of your ad with enough white space.
- Who is the customer – They are not all the same, you need to adjust accordingly.
- Appropriate margins – To help the ad look purposefully designed, use enough negative space so that you don’t crowd the edges. This doesn’t mean that elements of the ad can’t bleed to the edges, but your core message needs to be surrounded by enough white space. Sometimes this may mean that you need to reduce the size of text or an image for it to be more effective.
- Create a hierarchy – Adjusting the white space around visual elements can create various levels of importance and help the eye move through the ad.
Chelsea Liske, Graphic Designer