I went to a meeting with the client and we sat down to discuss the project to make sure everything was in place before printing. Everyone was very happy, about to sign off on the deal when the head of the department came in for a quick look. He'd been left out of the loop for previous revisions, so he wanted to put his opinion in for the last round. He was pleased with our product, and how easy it was to understand, how professional it looked.
But…there was white space. What was with all that white space? He thought since he would be purchasing each piece of paper, it should be completely filled up with print. We needed to make the fonts bigger and make the margins wider and fill up all that white space. And he would not approve it until I redesigned it his way. Needless to say, the end product does not hold a spot in my portfolio. It was crowded and ugly and hard to read.
What non-designers need to know is that there are basic design elements that all creative professionals use, and negative space is one of them. That blank spot creates balance on page and screen. If the design space is not in balance, it can look heavy and complicated. It can make you feel uncomfortable and overwhelmed. It's hard on your eyes to read. That isn't always the look and feel a designer is aiming for.
This one shows up regularly as well, from one of my favorite places! The use of white space around the food items and the spacing between the text creates a much more comfortable feel to the circular, as well as gives you expectations about the cleanliness and professionalism of the store. It's easy to read. It's well organized. It's more balanced.
In the meantime, take a look at your marketing materials, your cards and brochures, your website…how do they look? Are they crowded or comfortable? Are they balanced? Are they easy to navigate? It might be time to add a little negativity! Cheers~K