Whitespace is a fundamental building block of good design. It’s the first design aspect that any visual designer is taught. What is whitespace? Let me say that it’s not always white. This space may be a color or texture. For authors, white space is the space between blocks of text. Author reviews often mention that the book had lots of white space and they loved that, it gives the reader an enjoyable journey through the story. In this post I explain why whitespace matters.
Design, a critically important element authors often overlook. Words on the page need balance, structure and white space. Maria Connor, Published Author and Author Assistant
The most obvious benefit of whitespace is that it increases legibility. You only need to compare the examples shown in Mark Boulton’s superb article on whitespace to see how a good use of whitespace can make an enormous difference to legibility.
Believe it or not whitespace between paragraphs and around blocks of text actually helps people better understand what they are reading. According to research in 2004, this kind of whitespace increases comprehension by almost 20%.
Creates the right tone
Finally the use of whitespace can be a powerful way to communicate elegance, openness and freshness. Obviously this isn’t always the design look and feel you wish to communicate. However when it is, you can’t do better than having loads of whitespace.
For the visual arts, the phrase refers to negative space. In my work, I have found the old adage, “Less is more,” to be true. A phrase used by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1947 as a precept for Minimalist design and architecture. The phrase has been used in other applications by the design community over the years. I use it in designing and painting all the time. It is part of my philosophy. The negative is as important as the positive.
Extra Whitespace Information: Did you know that your business card should have at least one whitespace the size of a quarter?And the backside should have a flat finish so the recipient can write who, where and when.
Not everyone thinks whitespace is important. As the volume of content on the web grows, how do you stand out from the noise? Website owners find whitespace to be a waste, they fill every open spot on the page. Websites have become a way to market and promote product with lots of noise. Website owners demand that every space say something. I never know where to look and cannot find anything on those busy websites.
Thanks to Paul Boag, click whitespace to see his blog and be sure to click Mark Boulton’s article on whitespace.
How about you? What do you think about whitespace?