From our viewpoint each web designer will willingly sign the statement that typography is highly important for website appearance. When everything is done professionally, you don’t give a rush for all those designer’s tricks applied in the layout, but mistakes availability is flaring immediately making a website cheap and dilettantish. The fact is well known to skilful web developers, that’s why special attention is paid to improving projects’ typography. Exploiting negative space can be highly efficient in achieving this goal.
The term may sound a bit mysterious like something from physics or astronomy, but actually the matter is much more down-to-earth at a closer look. Designers and artists find it extremely serviceable when it comes to inner meaning rendering and readability intensification.
In brief, negative space or white space is everything surrounding the silhouette of a character. In typography, the enclosed or partially enclosed circular or curved negative space of some letters is called the counter and can be also used to make the idea more intelligible.
“Old metallic letters photo” from Shutterstock.
Two levels of negative space are being differentiated. These are macro and micro space; here we mean the space between core elements and the space between the smaller elements, respectively. According to the basic principle of awesome design, a developer should always strive for perfect balance between negative and positive (main subject) space and give the user’s eye a place to rest, which results in visual appeal increase of the whole composition.
It should be mentioned that negative space doesn’t exist separately; it is a part of composition and creates the needed effect only in combination with other objects. It’s rather a mean of making the essential content stand out brighter and facilitating the user to read the story you want to tell.
Working with negative space, remember that it shouldn’t be obligatory white as the point is in perfect contrast or lack of the latter. It’s obvious that different colors appear brighter on the appropriate backgrounds. Large, uncommon fonts are also attention grabbing and single out some elements against the others. The user’s eye is involuntary guided by the lack or absence of the content in the white space areas. You can’t but agree that heavy cluttered designs don’t work well and the minimalistic principle “less is more” really makes sense. Enough white space is able to make the design look sophisticated and expensive as it gives the impression that the product or service you offer is unique and can speak louder than any words and decorations.
To make a long story short, let’s formulate several guides you should follow to get the most out of the negative space and make your design clean:
- Your website will look balanced and harmonious with equal padding around the elements.
- Too large margins ruin the unity of design and turn it into a mess of isolated elements.
- Line spacing or the micro-white-space between the text lines should be reasonably large as it improves the readability.
- Letter spacing is not less important either. Squeezed letters turn our reading experience into a real challenge as well as too distant ones. Here we return to perfect balance again.
To summarize everything said above, negative space can be regarded as one more effective tool imparting your typography a clean, digestible and professional look, focusing visitor’s attention on the essential content and ideas.
Below you will see some extraordinary examples of websites, created with consideration of negative space in typography solutions.
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