There’s a common misperception among marketers that white space is empty space that needs to always be filled. I get it, of course. If you’re spending big bucks for a marketing agency to produce an ad, a website, a glossy brochure, or a fancy direct mail piece, it only makes sense you’d want to maximize your investment. Why would you want to let all that empty space sit there doing nothing when you could fill it with words and pictures that help sell your product or service?
Instead of seeing unused, empty space as a wasted opportunity, try to embrace white space the way art directors and designers do—as a fundamental component of good design. After all, white space can be a powerful tool that makes your marketing piece more inviting, easier to read, and more impactful. Here’s how:
- White space improves legibility. When something has room to breathe, when the leading is comfortable and the elements aren’t jammed together, everything is easier to read (which is something all readers appreciate). White space has also been proven to increase comprehension. And isn’t it better that our audience understand and remember a few key messages than to be overwhelmed by too much information that they can’t properly absorb?
- White space demands attention. Well-used white space can be an effective method for drawing users into a design and focusing in on a particular element, word, or image. Want to make something stand out? Don’t make it the biggest, loudest element on a page full of clutter. Make it small and set it afloat in a sea of white space. Instead of shouting above the noise, eliminate the noise in the first place and get your marketing message across more easily, simply, and directly.
- White space raises tension, creates mood, and increases impact. While white space can make a design more appealing to look at, it can also give it a little edge. The absence of content can create a kind of tension that makes a design more interesting. It can also be used to establish a feeling of elegance and professionalism. When we think of sophistication, we often think of something that’s simple, clean, and understated. White space also increases the impact of elements on a page. Surrounding something with white space gives it extra importance and priority. It also makes it easier to control the movement of a reader’s eye across a page, and as a result, how your marketing content is taken in.
So next time you think about filling that empty void on the page with more “stuff,” think again. Consider the power of leaving things a bit less cluttered—and imbue your marketing pieces with the power of white space.