August 12th, 2016

Dish soap. Lipstick. Car. We’re inundated with beautiful, intriguing and thought-provoking print ads daily, about 300-700 a day to be more precise.

But, what about a print ad makes it a standout?

Color?  Space?  The hottest Pantone trends of the year? Actually, there IS a science behind it.  Not to get all ‘Gestalt’ with you, but people really do visually digest color and space in beautifully different and impactful ways.

Have you ever been walking along, and suddenly a scent ‘hits’ you?  In seconds, you’re transported to childhood carnival days of fried funnel cake deliciousness.  Suddenly, you have cotton candy and long summer days on your mind…and that one time your brother lost his hat on the roller coaster. Those were the days…

Color is kind of like that. It moves us.  We see it, and we feel it.

Whitespace—what is that all about?

We refer to it as “white” space but it doesn’t even have to be white! It can, in fact, be any other solid color, gradient or pattern. Being that whitespace represents a gap between the positive elements of the page, it’s also called negative space.

What? Whitespace isn’t actually always white?  Mind blown.  But wait, though it may be termed ‘negative space’, it’s actually a positive.  Our brains crave a place to go on the page…a place to wander and rest.  A place to chill and explore. An ad that’s too busy leads to a convoluted, busy brain. Unless you’re intent on finding Waldo on a very cluttered page, ‘whitespace’ provides a much needed visual break.  It’s equally important as graphics and, its buddy, positive space.

So, there’s no need to get all negative about white space. It has many benefits and is a necessary component of design.

Why we should invite whitespace to our design party:

  • Our human eyes much prefer to look at things that are not crowded and busy to us.
  • The use of whitespace carves the path to a clearer communication of ideas and effective graphic designs.
  • It allows room for imagination and creativity—If you have ever stared long and hard at a blank canvas and envisioned a world of possibilities prior to picking up a paintbrush, you can relate.
  • Whitespace attracts the eyes. Google is besties with whitespace.  Consider their landing page: the simplistic design with all that space, and the enticing search bar… the world feels as though it is at your fingertips.  And it is.

White spaceRemember these few tips when designing for people, and your marketing will go to further places because of those white spaces.