White Space – It’s so underrated

White Space. Or lack of.

White Space. It’s so underrated. We nearly always assume more is more.

Ah. Frankly, it’s all overrated noise. The human mind doesn’t take it all in anyway, we scan it, we zip over it, another flashing banner, another advert, another pulsating ‘sign here’ banner. Scanning the first page of a loaded blog usually means I’m scanning for the exit button to get the hell out. Maybe I just get overwhelmed easily, but with so many ‘loaded’ websites one can look the same as the rest. Shame, as I feel there are some good posts and blogs under all that external make-up.

It’s not for everyone for sure, if you rely on advertising revenue, and you don’t care a diddly for design or aesthetics, then you probably don’t want to waste all that valuable real estate. But if your message is important, and you rely on your content your writing to send a message, then consider the less is really less options. Not more is more. Not less is more or more or less. Mixing it up with all manner or images and video’s can turn off a lot of people, equally ofcourse it can be a huge turn on.

But I guess I am aiming this at the confident designer or blogger, who is trying to get a simple or important message across, focus on content using design to enhance rather than to distract.

Space can be your friend. Use it to create natural boundaries around your important items. White Space allows the eyes to focus and see what needs to be seen. A busy tight page is a nightmare for most people, so why should yours be the same? We all appreciate some space. Space to see and focus. Your readers will be thankful in a subconscious way. We notice it when things are bad, but when things are running optimally, we don’t really stop and think because the site is working as it should. That’s good.

Trust your design and your content. That will do all the selling you need. Unless you are in the market for big fancy graphics, then I guess this post is not so relevant, I’m not trying to be the voice for all, just voicing an opinion for certain aspects of design and communication.

Trust your content and really believe that less can be a whole lot less without it being more. White space can be your friend. It doesn’t always translate that you are a boring designer, it often means you are a designer who knows what works, and trusts his own instincts, and doesn’t try to get peer approval for having the best freak’n graphics and buttons.

Its not easy to be meticulous with a website. Lining up paragraphs so the type all lines up nicely as you would for printed brochures is hard, but not impossible. But the next best thing is just to open things up a bit. Spread yourself out if you can. Let the content shine through rather than being buried alive.

My design experience IS typographic, grids, form and structure. Over 16 years with Macs and traditional typesetting, even manual past-up with bromide strips, wax and cardboard grids. I have spent the vast majority of my working life squaring things up, making type look nice and all that relevant stuff. So it’s in me genes you could say.


Written by: Graham Smith: The Logo Smith
1st Posted: 2008/10/24 & Post Updated: 2012/04/30
Filed In Categories: Vintage

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