Designers use whitespace to create a feeling of sophistication and elegance for upscale brands.
What is Whitespace?
When a designer talks about whitespace, they actually mean empty space – the space between elements -. It doesn’t always need to be ‘white’. This ‘blank’ space might be a color or texture or some other graphical element but either way it is space within an artboards or design that does not include screen elements.
Whitespace is a fundamental building block of good design. It’s one of the first thing any visual designer is taught.
Why shall we use Whitespace in design methodology?
Whitespace is a fundamental element of design for good reason. Used well it can transform a design and provide many benefits. Some of those benefits are purely aesthetic while others have a tangible impact on the effectiveness of your site.
Designers use whitespace to create a feeling of sophistication and elegance for upscale brands. Coupled with a sensitive use of typography and photography, generous whitespace is seen all over luxury markets. Cosmetics, for example, use extensive whitespace in their marketing material to tell the reader that they are sophisticated, high quality, and generally expensive. 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 cannot do better than having loads of whitespace.
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.
It can also be a powerful way of drawing the user’s attention to a particular screen element. powerful way of drawing the user’s attention to a particular screen element. To a non designer the most obvious way to make something stand out is to make it bigger. However often surrounding the item with whitespace can be just as effective
Whitespace versus client product;
Whitespace is often pushed out of a design because somebody within the organization believes users do not scroll. The result is that they insist as much content as possible is placed high on the page sucking any whitespace from the design. Other website owners it is simply a waste of space that could be used to better promote their messages, services or products.
There is little doubt that whitespace is a valuable design tool that can make any website more effective. What is more I see no reason it needs to be such a point of friction between designers and website owners. I believe any design can maintain its whitespace while meeting a site’s business objectives.
Hopefully by now the benefits of whitespace are obvious. However even with the best intentions in the world, whitespace can often be pushed out of a design. In order to prevent this we need to understand why it happens and how to combat it. Designers use whitespace to create a feeling of sophistication and elegance for upscale brands.