Negative Space” also called “White Space” is the area between every individual design element. Sometimes, it is neglected and not given importance which results in a badly congested design. Negative space can either make a design attractive or ruin it completely. We cannot neglect it while creating designs. Negative Space doesn’t have to be white, it can be of any color, texture, and background.
It helps to make the layout of the design balanced and harmonized. It creates breathing room in your designs which eventually helps in grabbing the attention of the viewer and user towards your product or brand. It is a helpful tool to improve the visual communication experience.
Negative space is mainly categorized into two types:
- Macro negative space
- Micro negative space
Macro Negative space
Macro space is the larger space between major design components and their surroundings. We can easily notice this space. It brings focus to the main design by making it more prominent. Macro spacing is important for the viewer’s attention and engagement towards design.
Micro Negative space
Micro negative space is the smaller space between the design. It includes the space between typography, written paragraphs, and minute design components. It balances the main design by giving breathing space to the main design.
Here are some effective tips of using Negative Space in design:
- Emphasize Certain Elements
- Clarifying Relationships Between Objects
- Improve Readability
- Divide Elements without Dividers
- Create a Feeling of Elegance
Emphasize Certain Elements:
The more whitespace there is around an object, the more the eye is drawn to it. There is a simple trick you can employ to achieve that goal — remove all elements around the object. The lack of other elements in a particular area make existing elements in the area stand out more. The user’s attention goes onto the area with an object simply because there is nothing else to see in that area.
Let’s take the Apple website Home Page as a n example. The main focus of design is the Iphone 12 so they kept macro spacing around the phone which is helping to grab attention from the target audience.
Clarifying Relationships Between Objects:
This will help to differentiate the existence between two groups. The spacing between two objects is important to understand the individual importance of the object. There is a theory in cognitive psychology called gestalt principles that dictates that objects near each other will appear as one “unit.”
Take a look at the left four objects below, the four blocks give an impression of being associated with each other. The 2 blocks on the right give the same impression, that they are one unit. But the two sides are seen as two separate unites, this is because of macro spacing.
Line spacing (the space between each line in a paragraph) can drastically improve the readability of text. When line spacing is too tight, it becomes harder for people to read the text. Generally, the larger the leading, the better experience the readers will have whilst reading.
For Example, the paragraph on the left side is more congested because of bad micro spacing. The text of right side has correct spacing making it easier for us to read everything.
Divide Elements without Dividers:
While this approach works fine in most cases, it has one major downside — visible dividers add additional visual weight. Too many visible dividers can make the overall design feel heavy.
For Example, in this Apple ad below, there isn’t any physical shape or divider but there is white spacing which tells us of the division.
Creates a Feeling of Elegance:
Whitespace can also be used for purely aesthetic purposes. Layouts with larger amounts of whitespace may convey a sense of luxury. Many luxury brands use whitespace as a primary tool to put the product they sell in the spotlight.
For Example, cartier shows elegance by using negative space on their website homepage. The whitespace here highlights the gold and the gems, giving these bracelets a more lavish feel.
Using negative space correctly in your design is important. It will be beneficial in making the ordinary design into a good design and it will help to engage the right target audience towards your brand.