We get it, you want to get the most for your money so let’s fill the page with as much colour, as many pictures as humanly possibly – show it all off!
This is when you need to trust that designers know design best! This lack of colour this purley light based element, this trick of the trade we get ourselves excited about is so important and you should be using it to the advantage of your brand’s image, product and service.
White space is perhaps better described as negative space – in that it doesn’t have to be white (see iPod example below). It is the space between the designed elements on the page, that page being a web page, brochure page, signboard, business card… you get the idea.
The method of giving elements room to breathe isn’t just creative types getting all arty on you; it’s human-sciences – seriously! OK so we know the words or pictures on the page aren’t actually alive but don’t you want them to look like they are so that people pay attention?
The Gestalt Principles, which describe the way humans interpret visual stimulus conclude that we, or at least our eyes really do value the ‘less is more’ approach.
By allowing the eye not to be distracted by too many elements we are paving the way for the graphics to have more impact – getting your customer to see what is really key as opposed to losing them in a minefield of busyness. Don’t you want your customers to feel like they’ve been smoothly enticed into learning about your product rather than punched in the face by it. Which of the examples below is doing what for you?
Psychological studies into readability have also indicated importantly, that comprehension of information is improved when white space is used properly. “Results show that the use of margins affected both reading speed and comprehension in that participants read the Margin text slower, but comprehended more than the No Margin text.”, (Chaparro & Bernard, 2001; Spool, 1997). Basically: more white space better comprehension.
Design is centered on communication. In all your branding you want to communicate an idea to your viewer (the idea that they invest in your product and service). If your viewer can’t comprehend this message from the outset then your design has failed.
White space can even help you if you do want to show it all off. Used properly ‘nothing’ and ‘space’ can include rather a lot. Take a look for example at the iPad ad below. There is a lot going on here in terms of symbolism, graphics and visual messages. Yet the balance and containment of those elements offset against space is what makes it effective – remember space doesn’t mean ‘empty’ it’s as much a filler as anything else.
Perhaps the only exception is when it comes to direct mail. Take a look at the example below. This down-market style has worked for some, but that’s not to say negative spaces don’t play a part – the price is always a lot more spacious than anything else on the page!
Hence why it’s important to think about what it is you want your style to say and how negative/white space will have the most impact for you.
Luxurious brands such as designer perfumes and upscale cosmetics are the largest users of white space in their branding. It tells the customer they are sophisticated and high quality whereas the direct mail approach shouts ‘I’m cheap’. Ultimately whatever it is you’re looking for your designer especially at One Line Studio will know how best to use the space available.