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White space and print design

The importance of white space in print design

Empty, blank, zilch, nada: all words with negative connotations. However when translated into print design ‘empty’ changes to a positive.
This empty space is the background that holds the design together. We refer to this empty space between design elements as ‘white space’ or occasionally ‘negative space’. It plays a key role when delivering a clean and coherent design. Despite it’s name it does not have to be white, it can be any colour or even a background image or texture.
Five reasons to use white space:

  1. It guides understanding by allowing the designer group design elements.
  2. It suggests luxury and elegance and can be used as a design element to provide sophistication. As the adage states ‘less is more’.
  3. It provides visual cues towards what is important. Surrounding a design element e.g. a logo, with white space emphasises the importance of that element.
  4. It has the power to engage. White space provides room for the viewer’s brain provide a back-story to your design.
  5. It let’s the viewer breathe. Dumping more and more visual elements on a viewer will result in frustration and confusion. White space delivers calm and understanding.

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