When it comes to design, specifically good design, negative space (the space that does not have any elements), is as important as positive space. Negative space plays a crucial role in making sure there is a balance of space and allowing key aspects of the design to stand out. In this blog post, we have a look at Moo’s latest blog post on how negative space has a positive impact on your design. Moo’s guide shows you how to master the power of blank space (Moo 2021: online).
What is negative space?
● First, we need to understand what positive space is. According to Moo, “positive space is the area of interest in your design, the elements you want to draw attention to” (Moo 2021: online).
● The positive space is essentially the subject. Negative space, as mentioned above, is the background or “white space” (although it doesn’t have to be white), that does not have anything occupying it (Moo 2021: online).
● Negative space acts with positive space to bring together the design elements that make up the overall design/look (Moo 2021: online).
The importance of negative space
● Moo goes on to emphasise the importance of negative space in design.
● It single-handedly brings about focus which in turn creates impressive, unforgettable design (Moo 2021: online).
● If the design is overcrowded, this can cause the viewer difficulty in deciphering information and imagery; i.e. you’re not offering the viewer a clear visual journey.
● Therefore, make use of negative/white space to allow your design breathing space.
● It brings definition to your focal points, highlights your text, makes your images stand out, and helps you create a piece that makes sense visually (Moo 2021: online).
Using negative space
● The key strategy when it comes to implementing negative space in design according to Moo, is finding a balance between positive and negative space (Moo 2021: online).
● You are going to want the most important information/imagery to stand out: as we keep mentioning, allowing enough space for elements in your design is your first step toward achieving this.
● Moo suggests grouping your elements by objective, in order to observe and glean exactly what sort of space is needed for each aspect (Moo 2021: online).
● For example, if you’re creating a flyer for an event, it makes the most sense to group all the information pertaining to the event, such as the date(s), time, the lineup if there is one, etc. another group of information would be things like contact information. That means you’ll need to consider white space around each of these groups (Moo 2021: online).
● The last point to consider is how much contrast plays a role: according to Moo, contrast is everything.
● What we mean here is that “white” space doesn’t have to be white in colour.
● Play and experiment with different colours that will elevate your branding and design; we recommend revisiting your branding identity and seeing for yourself what colours will help accentuate your design elements.
● Finally, a note: negative space does not need to be a colour per se, it can also pattern or even a picture (Moo 2021: online).