Why white space is critical in good design

Balance, harmony, elegance, professionalism, promoting a clear message… These are the words coming to mind when I think of the use of white space in graphic design.

But before we continue down the path of white space, let’s take a quick detour into the topic of what is good graphic design. Good graphic design. Not something your neighbour’s friend’s 14 year old nephew has knocked up for you in publisher. That’s not to say I’m against kids learning computer programs and being involved in creative pursuits – with 2 kids of my own I’m all over that. I do think there is a time and place though, and promoting any business through such amateur means is not the way to go.

Graphic design is the art of combining text and images in advertisement, business stationery, magazines, books, the list goes on. Good design, is well, doing it well. Getting the intended message across to the audience is a clear manner whilst impressing them aesthetically. In order to achieve this, the designer needs to follow the general rule of allowing the use of white space to clearly identify the message. White space draws to mind nothing, blank, untouched, breathing space – and every piece of design needs it. Too often, clients will fail to understand this and attempt to overcrowd the artwork with additional images and text, not understanding that the additional messages are actually detracting – making the overall message harder and harder to decipher. Cluttered artwork = confusing messages.

Why you should always use White Space in design:

  • White space draws the eye. You can’t resist the force. Breathing space/white space will help you guide your viewer to your main message – giving focus.
  • Relax. White space promotes a calmness for the reader/viewer. There is no tense cluttered manic approach to viewing white space.
  • Balance and harmony. White space promotes a balanced design – once again – an optimum method for getting your message across.
  • Increased Readability. It’s a no-brainer to say that white space around text makes the text much easier to read.
  • Creates the illusion of Prestige. Take a quick look at high end brands such as Mercedes, Lancome, Rolex. These labels show no fear in the use of white space. Their messages are clear, uncluttered and take on that air of elegance and professionalism.

Ultimately, the key to the use of white space in design is balance. Too little and your design is cluttered, too much and you risk being boring. Great designers have mastered this fine line, resulting in impressive visual solutions to your design needs.

If you feel like your marketing communications could do with some more white space or a design refresh our talented graphic artists are here to help.