What is White Space?

"Music is the space between the notes. It's not the notes you play; it's the notes you don't play."
 — Miles Davis

In visual arts, page layout, and web design, we see white space used effectively to draw attention to the things that matter. So what is white space, exactly? Below, we've shared a modern white space definition, showing how it can be employed strategically in design to achieve a great experience.

What is White Space? 

Also known as negative space, white space is any area in a design that's left blank. This can be the margins on a newspaper, the space between graphical elements in a brochure, or the empty areas that help to organize a website. People who don't have a background in design often think of this as "blank space", but as the previous quote elucidates, the space between the notes is where you find the music. 

When it comes to design, white space is crucial to achieving balance between objects, creating a visually appealing composition, and placing emphasis on key elements. However, poor use of white space can make a design feel rushed or unfinished, so there's a lot of skill involved in finding the right balance. By the same token, placing too many objects and text on a page can make your design feel cramped and hard to comprehend. To create a positive shape, you must have clearly defined negative space.

How Can I Use White Space in My Designs?

Today, white space (or "whitespace") has become a modus operandi for graphic and UX designers, who want to deliver a product that's delightful and user-friendly. Each element in a design should be carefully crafted to ensure that it's easy to navigate and read. If your project contains a lot of text, like a blog or news site, you'll want to include enough white space that readers can soak in the information and flow seamlessly from paragraph to paragraph. 

When sketching out every element of the design, consider how a real human being will process those details from the moment they type in your URL. The layout should be easy to read, logically structured, and inviting enough to keep people engaged. Focus on the things that are truly important from your perspective, and then do away with the rest. Remember: in design, subtraction is just as important as addition. 

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