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White space – a prerequisite for creative designing

By: Avinash Narula

One of the biggest problems is that company executives feel that leaving xe "white space"white space in an advertisement or a marketing collateral is like leaving money on the table. They want to fill it up to the brim, covering up all the space with something or the other. The end-result-the advertisement or the marketing collateral not only looks horrible, but also fails to convey any message to the target audience. As such, make sure your design allows enough white space around important design elements.

Advantages of white space

Providing white space in your advertising and promotional material has a number of advantages as follows:

Attracts the reader's eye

A reader's eye is automatically guided towards the white space. So anything that is surrounded by a lot of white or open space is bound to attract the reader's attention.

If you fill up all the white space with type and/or graphics, your advertising and promotional material will not attract the attention of the audience. Remember most people do not read in a logical sequence. They flip through the newspapers, magazines and the advertising and promotional material, their eyes quickly scanning the pages. Without the white space, chances are that your advertisement will be lost in the clutter and will not even be noticed.

Separates design elements

It assists in separating the design elements. White or open space between the two elements of a design also indicate to the reader that the elements are separate and not connected to each other.

Defines relationship between design elements

It exhibits the relationship between the various design elements. For instance, more white space between two design elements suggests a weak relationship.

Separates competing advertisements

It also separates your advertisement from competing advertisements in a publication. If you fill the advertisement with written matter and pictures it can just disappear into the page.

It's far better to have too much white space than too little. For any advertising and promotional material to be effective, it needs to have as much "white" or "open" space as possible. White space is a very good design indicator but it is used very sparingly.

So whenever you are developing an advertising and promotional material or getting it developed by an advertising agency, always try to make sure that there is enough white or open space. If it's not there, ask your agency to create it. If necessary, reduce the amount of written matter or increase the size of the advertisement or brochure.

How much white space is enough?

There is no mathematical answer to this. You will have to strike a balance between your budget, the message you want to convey and the amount of matter you want to include in the advertising and promotional material. However, I feel that you can intuitively get to know when you have the right amount of white space. You will find that as soon as you add or create white space, the same design starts to look much better and pleasing to the eye. Also, it becomes more readable. Once you see this happening, you can be sure that you have optimized white space from the point of view of your budget and effectiveness of the advertising and promotional material.

Actually, a good visualiser is one who can incorporate as much white space as possible taking the space constraint and the amount of material into account. The ability to create designs which maximise white or open space is what separates the men from the boys in the advertising business.

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