No Really, White Space is a Good Thing
The other day one of our account managers made the remark that one of the social media banners we have created were so empty. “it’s got so much white space, it feels so empty.” One of the principles you learn in design school is positive/negative space, its composition, and it’s use. There are seven principles in total, for a quick lesson check out this link: (http://artblog.emilygonsalves.com/2009/03/seven-principles-of-design.html) First you need to understand what positive/negative space is: In 1915 Danish psychologist Edgar Rubin developed a theory about a black and white picture that is know today as Rubens Vase. “One can then state as a fundamental principle: When two fields have a common border, and one is seen as figure and the other as ground, the immediate perceptual experience is characterized by a shaping effect which emerges from the common border of the fields and which operates only on one field or operates more strongly on one than on the other.” Edgar Rubin, Synsoplevede Figurer, 1915 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubin_vase) In a nutshell, your eyes can only see either the positive/negative space at one time. Your brain either registers the white or the black. Some of you will see the vase (white) at first glance and some the faces (black). Only after you have seen the one dominant to you and you are made aware of the other, your eyes will look for and find what your brain will register the other. (I always see the faces first, I need to force by brain to register the vase) Now to me this principle taught me three things when I design:
- there should always be balance between positive/negative space, because there’s a 50% change that the person viewing your artwork sees it the way you do.
- this balance needs to be comfortable to the eye
- too much filled space can confuse the viewer and too much empty space can make the artwork look incomplete