Leaving Space


Today I want to hone in on the concept of 'space'.

And no, by 'space' I'm not referring to, “the final frontier”. Rather, I'm talking about Negative Space – the area around and between the subject(s) of an image.

To borrow from the Wikipedia definition of Negative Space:

The use of equal negative space, as a balance to positive space, in a composition is considered by many as good design. This basic and often overlooked principle of design gives the eye a "place to rest," increasing the appeal of a composition through subtle means. The term is also used by musicians to indicate silence within a piece.

Negative space is a critically important element of successful communications because it provides a helpful context and setup to the subject you are trying to communicate. In fact, it is important enough that I would go so far as to say that communications efforts based in mediums like graphic arts and speech-giving are failures unless they take negative space into consideration.

Give your design room to breathe. Give your audience time and space to allow your last sentence to sink in. Don't ambush and annoy your mailing lists with e-newsletter after e-newsletter.

Leave space for comprehension. Leave space for retention. Leave space for successful communications.

Andrew VanderPloeg
Andrew VanderPloeg Guest Blogger, Consultant

Andrew served at Bark for over 20 years before recently taking over the role of Vice President of Marketing & Communications at ShareWord, one of our favorite organizations.