Are your marketing materials difficult to read? Do your web pages make it hard for users to know what to focus on? You may have a clutter problem. A graphic design pro will likely suggest “adding more white space”. Have you ever wondered what that means?
What is white space?
- White space, or negative space, is defined as empty space (white or other color or pattern) that is around content. When used optimally, it lets the design ‘breathe’ – without clutter that can distract users. It is a powerful tool in the world of web and print design.
Where is white space in a printed piece or web user interface?
- within actual text (letter and line spacing)
- in page margins and column spacing
- in areas around text and images, and around functional web elements such as buttons and forms
How does optimizing white space help the viewer/user?
- it increases text readability, by using looser (vs. very tight) letter and line spacing.
- It calls attention to objects, whether an image or text. The more white space around an object, the more noticeable it will be, because there is no clutter to interfere.
- It affects object placement. Placing items close together tends to cause them to be seen as one object. For example, think of the labels under images or above form fields; in this case, less white space is good.
- It imparts an elegant, luxurious feeling. More white space lets an object or text speak for itself; clutter is rare in the world of luxury goods.
Good use of white space clarifies your message to make it more easily read and understood, while lending a sophisticated feeling to all of your materials.