Space It Out!

Blog logo-from Jacci Adams

I am a graphic designer, so I get a little annoyed when I see an advertisement that looks like something my kindergartner drew, crayon or not. I not only like advertisements to look pretty; they also have to have that “wow!” factor. This advertisement is a representation of your business, right? So why would you not want that representation to be all that and a bag of chips?

Why not, indeed.

Over the last 14 years of my career I still see a particular violation in full force. It is almost as if either designers have decided they do not care because the client does not care (which I find hard to believe), or the client is creating their own advertising and is not aware of this violation. What I am not a fan of, and still see quite a lot of to this day, is the lack of consideration given to a graphic designer’s best friend: white space.

White space is a graphic designer’s best friend. Proper usage indicates balance between all the elements and allows for “breathing room” for the viewer so they do not feel cramped. Also, when used properly, white space can add a sense of urgency to the product or service you are advertising.

It is also important to note that, even if white space is being used correctly, do not butt the text right up to the border of the page or advert. The border creates two visuals: 1) an important place that contains very important information; 2) a stopping point for reading. Unfortunately, when text is jammed right up to the border, the latter occurs, and the rest of your advert may not be read.

The most notable use of white space I can remember is the magazine and billboard adverts for ING. It made a great teaser, as nobody could tell what is was, thereby making us wait impatiently to find out what ING was all about. The television commercials they soon adopted were a similar nature, but of the absence of information – again, thereby tugging us along until the full nature of ING was released.

Now it’s your turn! Please post a link to the best and worst uses of white space you have seen in the past decade. A snapshot of a website counts.


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