Added over 2 years ago
Love the white space
“White space is to be regarded as an active element, not a passive background.” - Jan Tschichold
It seems like it's wasted, doesn't it? You're paying good of money for this piece of communication, and paying even more money to have it reach your intended audience. It's affordable, and it's worth doing, and you're doing the right thing by hiring a professional graphic designer or design studio but you want to maximise the impact. You want to make that money work as hard as it possibly can. So you see a little bit of white space, and you think “there's room in there for another message”.
Client feedback to their design house often sounds something like this: “It's great, but can we put something in that white space?”
We suggest you resist that impulse.
White space is an important part of the design. It allows your message to breathe, and it makes it easier for your audience to enter the little world you're creating for them. White space is one of the major tools your design agency uses to invite your audience into your brand. The amount of white space necessary varies, of course, depending on your communication. Most retail advertising and direct mail uses very little empty space and packs product after product into the offering, and retail websites have largely followed this template. This is appropriate, up to a point, because product range is such an important part of the overall message. Retail websites tend to follow the same track – get as many offers in front of the viewer as possible. Retail design tends to push all the way up to the line, but it's important not to become cluttered; what should be an easily-navigated array can easily become a wall of stuff, impenetrable to the viewer, and if the customer has to work to see the message, they will turn away and look elsewhere. On the other hand, white space can be used to create elegance, simplicity and impact, particularly when the message is singular.
The most famous example of this is the original “Think Small” VW Beetle ad from the early 60s. See it here. This ad revolutionised advertising, and was considered a phenomenally brave piece of work, both by the agency art directors and by the client too (car-makers were used to ads like this one, which while badly dated, you can still see the judicious use of white space to make the message clear and easily-accessible).
Resist the temptation to fill that white space. White space is your friend. It loves you, and you should love it. But yet... One of the great graphic designer bug-bears is that clients often feel the urge to make the logo bigger. It's such a common difference of opinion between client and designer you can see it spoofed here. And here. Obviously it's a bigger issue for designers because the client is always right. Even when they're wrong. And here's the thing. Occasionally, you, the client, may well actually be... right. You're building a brand. It's a wider concern to the beauty and cohesion of that one piece of communication. Unless you're Coke or Apple, with massive worldwide market penetration, or the likes of Adobe with dominance of a global niche market, you may need to push your logo a little further forward.
Just don't let it steal too much of that lovely white space.
Posted by at 2:10 pm 0 Comments
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