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Why Negative Space Is Actually Positive

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What is negative space, and why is it important in the world of design? Well, simply put, negative space is “the space that surrounds an object in an image.” It plays a crucial role in design because it “helps to define the boundaries of positive space and brings balance to a composition.”  The space that surrounds an object in a design can have just as profound an effect as the object itself.

It’s Crowded Up In Here

Have you ever been presented with a business card that utilized all of its blank space with text and images? What about a flyer for an event that was filled to the brim with information, graphics, images, and so on. It’s overwhelming to look at and, more often than not, the message and focal point gets lost. Negative space allows readers breathing room, so to say, to fully absorb the images and their intended message. Think of it like this, would you rather your mom call you and say, “Hi, Aunt Mildred colored her hair, she ate a turkey sandwich, she’s having a party on Friday at 7pm, her house needs a paint job, and I’m making a casserole.” Or, “Hi, Aunt Mildred’s party starts at 7pm this Friday.” I’m guessing you’d prefer the latter. That’s what negative space is intended to do.

Positively Negative

Designs that make creative use of negative space are more appealing to look at. The consumer’s eyes are immediately drawn to the focal point. The key here is to reduce the amount of work the viewer has to do. A simple yet carefully crafted design using negative space encourages the viewer to linger on the image. It allows the consumer to appreciate the cleverness of the design. Lastly, it encourages a feeling of inclusiveness for the viewer. Once they see the “hidden” message, they feel like they’re in on a secret. Human beings have a desire to feel included, and this plays into the craving of inclusiveness well. Here are some amazing examples of the use of negative space in design.


Sometimes less really is more. Just because you have a ton of information to share, it doesn’t necessarily need to be crammed into one space. For example, if you’re sharing your graphic design on Instagram, consider adding the details of your post in the caption. Do you have an event coming up? Awesome! Create a Facebook event and upload a really cool, yet minimal, featured graphic that will catch everyone’s eye. Then, you can add as much copy as your little heart desires to the event details of that page.

Ready to get started on your new logo or website design? Something super cool that has a bunch of negative space and a hidden message? Even if you have something else on your creative radar, let’s chat! Call POP THE PIXEL at 323-848-4465 or email us today to get a start on, or to update, any of your design needs.

About the Author of This Post

Nazanin Nour is an actor and writer based out of Los Angeles who likes to make people laugh. You can follow her multiple personalities on Twitter @NazaninNour, Instagram @frecklednaz, and subscribe to her YouTube channel.


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