Why Use Negative Space?

Have you ever looked at a page or design and it is so full and overwhelming? I know as a designer myself, I see this type of design everywhere. It is something that a lot of people do not realize is so important. If you were given a piece of advertisement that is full of text and images, you are more likely to not take the time of day viewing it, but if you are given an advertisement where the message is directly stated, there is less text and fewer images, you are more likely to continue viewing the page.

Negative space is a very important aspect when designing both website and print layouts. Negative space is also called white space. These spaces include areas in the design that have zero content to them. Though it doesn’t seem like a design element, it is. It allows the viewer to see the message more clearly and makes the design look more clean and professional.

Negative space can also create an illusion. Take for instance the “Rubin Vase”. (Picture provided for reference) The Vase when made into a positive/negative object, creates the illusion of either a vase or two heads facing each other. The Fed Ex logo is another good example. I bet not a lot of people notice the arrow between the “E” and “X”, which was not an accidental design element.

How should you use negative space when designing? Make the design simple, clean and legible. All of these things are going to play into how long you keep the viewer’s attention, if it is not visually appealing people will loose interest fast. Negative space can be used in both web design, logo design and print design. It can be very tricky to incorporate negative space in designs, but if you can do it, it will make the world of difference in your design.