Negative Space is a Good Thing

When I was in middle school, I had this awful art teacher who insisted that we capture what we could see. That had to be our focus at all times.

To this day, I still can’t draw. It’s interesting, because what prevents me from being a passable drawer is what makes my jewelry and writing so attractive. It’s the negative space, the space unused by my creations.

I’m sure we can all think of examples of designs in visual arts, print, and web where we felt crowded. We felt overwhelmed because we couldn’t seem to get a break from the presentation. We felt that lack of negative space.

Negative space is great because it provides many functions. It allows the viewer to have a break, to relax their eyes. It allows the work to shine because it creates a line of focus. It creates an impact that continuous input really doesn’t.

As designers, we should embrace negative space as a means to invite the user into our work.

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