White Space: Not Always White, but Always Good for Graphics

White Space

One of the most common disagreements between designers and the business owners they are working with is the debate over something called white space. Someone working to get a message out about a product or service may be completely focused on communicating as many benefits as possible within a cramped space – which is easy to understand. Conversely, cramming too much information into a print or online ad can drive your designer crazy.

It may seem like your designer just wants your banner or tradeshow display to look pretty, but less really is more when it comes to communicating value to customers. Here are a few reasons why you need white space in each of your ads, on your website, and on your signs:

1) Human attention is limited.

A lack of white space makes it easier for people to ignore you. Think about sitting in a busy restaurant or circulating at a cocktail party. All around you are conversations full of interesting (and not so interesting) information. If you tried to listen to every conversation in the room, however, you’d go nuts. The same way you would want to focus on one conversation, you want your customer to focus on your most important message and ignore all other noise.

2) Cluttered ads, signs, or banners are hard to read.

Think of the advertising inserts that often come in newspapers: how photos and text boxes are crammed together one after another after another. Often these ads go straight into the trash, or else they sit neglected in your in-basket for. White space makes your most important message leap from the page and grab your customers by the shirt-collar saying, “Look at me!”

3) White space conveys elegance, authority, and sophistication.

The gray, white, and black of Apple. The sparse Google homepage. The Nike swoosh. Sure, these are all big names. All the better if your customer looks at your understated advertisements and thinks of these highly successful brands.

When you think about creating an effective advertisement such as a graphic wrap, focus on your most important message. On the highway, the customer might only have a moment to get an idea of what you’re all about. Use white space to highlight a clear, concise message, and they will remember your name.

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