While people were still pecking away at typewriters, cramming every square inch of the page with type and reading newspapers, which were equally crammed with type, a soon-to-be-famous German typographer, Jan Tschichold, pleaded for some breathing room.
Just as people perked up to the advice of Jan Tschichold in 1930, any business with a website would be wise to heed his words, for white space is enjoying a renaissance now that website design is in the throes of its pivotal adolescent stage.
If you’re skeptical about this claim, just take a good look at the word: white space. Early website designers were eager to cram the two words together (“whitespace”), just as they were eager to abandon the early practice of separating the word “web” from the word “site.”
Someone apparently took note of the hilariously ironic nature of the spelling choice “whitespace” and decided to breathe some air into the term. Despite this progress, some designers still insist on referring to white space as “negative space” because nothing exists between the two closest neighboring elements; the space between them is blank.
Tschichold knew the score
Leave the negative terminology to those early (and now discredited) website designers. The man credited with revolutionizing modern typography with bold, asymmetrical designs and sans-serifs understood the value of white space. He would even go so far as to call it a fundamental of sound design – the “break in the action” on a page otherwise busy-busy with letters, pictures and other visual elements.
In the interest of clarity, it’s important to note white space doesn’t necessarily have to be white; on a pumpkin-orange website page, the open space would be pumpkin orange. It’s not the color that matters; it’s the breathing room that can be as much as one-quarter of a page
Make good use of website white space
Websites can benefit from an effective use of white space in myriad ways.
White space can enhance the visitor’s experience. Much like a sprawling, L-shaped sectional draws visitors into a home – even if they don’t plan on sprawling out – white space draws website visitors to a page, enticing them to spend time there. Extending the analogy, white space is the roomy sectional to the small, short club chair visitors avoid. White space gives tired, roaming eyes a rest.
White space can improve comprehension. One key study found white space between paragraphs and in the left and right margins increased comprehension by almost 20 percent – especially important on landing pages, where the goal is to convert visitors into customers.
White space can imbue a web page with style and elegance. Admittedly, this goal requires balance. Too much white space can signal a lack of content and purpose; too little can backfire and sometimes be as bad as not having any white space at all.
Let the marketing professionals at ADTACK help you integrate white space on your web pages. Call ADTACK today at 702-270-8772 for a free consultation.