Just a Little White Space

Just a Little White Space

It’s about value, every square centimetre costs you money so you want to fill up every last bit of that space. It makes sense, it feels right and when you look at it, you see all of the value you have to provide your customers. But do they, confronted by all of this information, know exactly what you want them to do?

While an economical and efficient use of space certainly has its place in certain graphic design projects, it can restrict your ability to introduce a directive for your customer. Humans on the whole, are indecisive creatures prone to react rather than act alone. So no matter how informative or entertaining your design, if it doesn’t implicitly or explicitly ask the person viewing it to do something.. chances are, they will do nothing, even if you have done a fantastic job of imparting your value proposition.


graphic deisgn white space



White space isn’t just empty space, it is intentionally empty space. Think about a large blocked out square, it is full of information but has not direction. Introducing some intentional white space to make it into an arrow gives you something to follow, you might even call it a purpose. A graphic designer introduces white space in order to accomplish the same thing on a deeper level. When combined with hierarchy and other visual design techniques, white space creates the same kind of arrow only instead of pointing someone to the bathroom, it points them towards the action you would like them to make.


Breathing Graphic Design



The other important thing that white space introduces is breathing room. Much like the full stop or comma in a sentence, if you draw things out too long without a breath (or an intentional reason to do so), your customer may become fatigued by the experience. They might even misunderstand your intentions, or be confused about what you want them to do either because they stopped reading, or because too many ideas were packed too closely together. This entanglement can undo any of the actual information you are trying to impart, muting your message and a message that can’t be heard, is doing nothing for your business.

It may initially feel right to fill up all that space, cram in as much as you can, tell your customers everything in one breathe with all of the passion that you can muster… but in the long run it hurts what you want to achieve. Such that giving your customers what they want or need, improving their lives and helping them to be happier and healthier starts getting further away rather than closer.

Sometimes more, actually means less. So the next time you get that project designed, take a moment to consider the amount of content you have, what is most important and what you want to say so that you can craft a lengthy experience rather than a jump scare. Craft something that your customer will love, rather than feel costed by. Craft something that will help your business sustain and make even more money, rather than simply being a suck on your time and energy.







20 Things Pokemon can Teach us About Design

20 Things Pokemon can Teach us About Design

By now everyone is aware of the craze that is Pokemon GO and savvy business owners have taken advantage in many weird and wonderful ways, but what can it teach us about design? Here are 20 quick take-aways from the latest augmented reality phenomenon:


Start Simple
No matter how complex the copy and content you have to work with, always start from the largest and easiest to understand building blocks.


Your design should build on the story of your brand, with related content, tone, colour and imagery that reminds the user about what they are consuming.


Think about How
Always take the time to think about where your design is ending up and how it will consumed.


A long standing tennant in design is repetition, the user will often need to see/ hear/ touch/ taste/ smell something up to 7 times before they truly ‘get’ it.


Relate to the User
Use points of interest in your design that relate to the user, either making them feel at home or completely at odds with it.


Call to Action
Always end any story that you tell through your design with a direct and clear message, don’t beat around the Tall Grass, be honest, be direct, be you.


The brain loves puzzles and patterns, use this to your advantage by leading to eye across your design in a way that surprises and delights the user, even if it only takes a couple seconds.


You don’t necessarily need to fill every millimetre of your design with densely populated information, don’t be afraid to give your content space to breathe.


Building Systems
While you want the initial glance to immediately grab your subjects attention, it is important to build in deeper mechanics that can help the user engage with your brand.


Buried Treasure
You don’t always have to put everything out in the open, leaving something buried in your design to surprise the devoted explorer can be a great way to make them feel special and earn a deeper engagement.


Content Sizing
No matter how much you spend on your logo, it should never be the entirety of your content (unless it is part of some larger marketing gimmick), let the most important information that you want to communicate take precedence.


In a social world, word of mouth is more important than ever so making your design in a way that allows it to be shared openly will only help your brand expand and build trust for new leads.


Send it to Print/ Go Live
You don’t need to have a massive budget, meticulously planned rollout or a team of marketers at your back to ‘go viral’ sometimes all you need is a good idea that works (it doesn’t even need to be ‘feature complete’ the important thing is to get it out there!)


Creating your design in a way that allows the user to interact with it (reuse/recycle?), even in subtle ways can expand the effectiveness of your work 10 times and forge a deeper relationship with the product and your brand.


It is said that nothing is new, but that doesn’t mean you cannot start with something that has been done before (even something you have done before that worked well) and put a little extra into it to help it evolve into something new – you don’t always have to start with a blank canvas.


People like to collect things, so why not create your design in a way that inspires your users to collect (and keep it) – you could even connect it with a marketing program and reward them further down the line for keeping your brand in (heart and) mind.


Visual Cues
Sometimes what you think is obvious may not be THAT obvious, so think about adding visual cues to designate the most important information you want to impart and what you want your user to do once they have absorbed it ie. the ominous BIG RED BUTTON, or an arrow that points right at the info, it actually works.


In The Background
Always make sure that your main design contains colours that don’t conflict with your information (unless you are using it as a visual device), the background should be in the background.. act accordingly.


Every design project needs boundaries, if you don’t have any, make them yourself, it allows you to think out of the box more and expand on what is possible without constantly expanding the scope (you definitely want to avoid scope creep hell!).


Know who your design is for, it should be understood by everyone, but your creation should be able to resonate absolutely with a very specific person with very specific needs.