What is white space (negative space) and why should you be using it in your graphic designs?

In a time where information is everything, we are tempted to pack our content with everything we know. We often tend to forget how the end-user will perceive our content, and will it be easy to understand.

This is where white space comes in. Today we will discuss white space and how it affects your designs.

What is White Space?

White space simply refers to unmarked space in a design. It is the space between the lines of paragraphs, between different design elements, between layouts, and so on.

White space doesn’t necessarily have to be an empty space with a white background; it can be of any color.

Now we will discuss some of the reasons why you should use white space in your designs,

  1. Enhanced comprehension

The content of the design becomes easier to scan, and its legibility is significantly improved by using white space evenly.

Comprehension can be increased by up to 20% by using white space between lines of paragraphs and its right and left margins. 

Such small spaces between paragraphs, lines, or menu items are also known as Micro White Spaces. 

  1. Improved interaction rate

A marketing study shows that an average internet user only looks at any content for 6 seconds before losing interest.

By using the white space effectively, you will be better able to convey the message of your design to the user. 

If you highlight the call to actions along with white space, then it will increase the probability of interaction with the viewer.

It is our primary duty as designers to create communication lines between the users and the design. And using white space can be a great way of doing this.

  1. Attention and Focus

Large spaces between layouts and their elements are known as macro white spaces. These help in guiding the user through the content and prioritize the focus area of the design

Such a design will keep the user focused on it for longer periods. Hence, improving the chances of engaging with a call to action. 

  1. Design Tone and Branding

By using the micro and macro spaces in different proportions, you will be better able to define the character of your design.

The heavy use of macro white spaces brings a sense of elegance and sophistication to the design. Content-driven platforms rely mainly on the beautiful use of white spaces.

  1. Guidance through logical grouping

We live in a world of visual chaos, where we are constantly receiving visual cues. Our mind tends to organize all of this visual information through the law of proximity

This law states that the objects near to each other will appear to be similar. White spaces can help the viewer in making a logical sense of the visual information being presented to them. 

Gutters and margins between grids are some ways for handling logical grouping of the design elements. That is why using white spaces is a great practice and is recommended by professional graphic designers around the world. 

Austin Terrill

Austin is the founder and CEO of Print Peppermint. He loves art, graphic design, printing, music, recording gear, synthesizers, and ice cream. He lives in Berlin with his wife and two children.
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