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Negative is the New Positive

Negative is the New Positive

Posted on Dec 06, 2016 by

When starting out, whether it be an introduction paragraph to a blog or a website for a start up, it’s easy to get caught up trying to fit everything into one small space. Instead, take a step back and think about what is visually appealing.

Negative space can both be thought of as the glue that holds elements together, and the breathing room in between them. Sometimes the most appealing pictures or websites are the simplest. Logos, pictures, or websites that are too cluttered with content can drive viewers away. On the other hand, if there is not enough content, the viewers can also become bored. It’s all about achieving a balance between the content and its environment.

Think about the FedEx logo. Have you ever noticed the white arrow between the last two letters? That arrow is considered negative space. The company could have taken many different design routes, perhaps spelling their name out, or adding a slogan underneath to mention something about moving forward or shipping. Instead, they wisely kept it simple, by using the negative space.

Now take a look at our website. In the Our Agency section, we have three icons paired with statistics and a brief description:


Now, we could have shown a crazy picture of a lightning storm, rather than a minimalist lightning bolt overlaying a light gray circle, or described in detail when we were struck and where. However, with the simplicity of the icon and the six word sentence, we leave the circle open to give our viewer a moment to wonder a little about our agency (plus nothing breaks the ice like lightning).

Just because there is whitespace or a lack of text on the page does not mean you aren’t getting your money’s worth in design or content. Designers are constantly asked to make logos bigger, add more content, or simply move things around to fill up as much space as possible, but that isn’t always the best. In the end, designers have a creative eye and generally know how to make it work. Instead of adding more and more, make a game of getting your point across with the fewest possible elements. Honestly, which email would you rather read: One that makes two succinct points and separates them with line breaks, or a wall-of-text that you need to unravel for hopefully useful information? Same principle.

Less is more.



Kate Gothing

Advertising Student at UT Austin; Social Media and Marketing Intern at HMG Creative; World traveler and burger enthusiast. Follow her on Instagram @kategothing

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