Wide Open Spaces
I remember countless lunch hours navigating the busy sidewalks around my Times Square office, dodging tourists, business suits, street people, buses and cars. As much as I fed off energy of the towering buildings and the crowds, when I reached my lunchtime destination and strolled into Central Park there was always this inner sigh of relief – beautiful, wide-open space.
As a graphic designer I understand the value of space as a key design element. More often than not, the client will push to make the message “bigger,” to let the type fill every inch of available space. While I understand the impulse, the problem with that approach is that today’s consumer experience is a lot like that walk in the city. It’s crowded and noisy, and they are overwhelmed. When they encounter open space, they feel that same sense of relief. They’re able to mentally sit down, relax and listen what you’ve got to say.
White space, sometimes called negative space, is not necessarily white. It’s the clear area around text or graphics. Used effectively, it can direct the viewer’s eye, and increase legibility and comprehension. If you’re swimming in a sea of text and images, the space just feels good.
There’s another hidden advantage to creating all this white space. You’re excited about your product or service, and you want to tell the world all about it. White space helps by forcing you to focus and pare down your brand message to its essence so that it makes the maximum impact. And that definitely feels good.