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While images and fonts communicate a message, whitespace can be used to enhance and clarify the important information.

According to the principle of minimalistic, ?less is more? which applies in the design.

Providing an enjoyable user experience in web design is best when you understand more about whitespace and how you can use it to create a nice, simple and elegant design.

A great example that illustrates the importance of whitespace is books, magazines even a website. The margin ? the blank area between the text and the edge of the page ? makes reading much easier.

In white space, the clarity of your design, it?s all about creating a strong visual communication that speaks for itself with grabbing of the audience?s attention.

For instance Apple?s branding and advertising, they utilize large areas of white space to communicate a sense of simplicity and to reflect the user-friendliness of its products.

Whitespace often referred to as negative space, is the area of a page left unmarked or blank. As in print media, it may be referred to as the margin, in web design it?s the space between graphics, columns, images, text and other elements.

With any design, you want to ensure that your visitor’s eye isn?t distracted by cluttered elements and the information being lost in the process.

Any cluttered design due to over-design reduces clarity and understanding of your message. Whitespace funnels your eye towards the content and allows your message to stand out.

To make it stick, white space doesn?t imply the colour white, rather it applies any areas of a design not occupied by other elements, such as text, photos or illustrations. Whitespace can be any colour, as it refers to the background of the design.

Here are 5 ways to design with white space.


1. Create Focus and Attention

White space helps guide the user through interactive content by building a focal point and direct the user?s attention to specific layout parts.

Intentional use of white space can help you create a strong focus for your design. A designer or a web developer ought to be strategic by giving priority to specific elements or content with the aim of creating a focus and attention.

Empty space around the elements helps in providing a focal point to your design.

Playing with the amount of white space around these focal points create an attraction to the entire visual elements composing the website or print material.

The branding and print media applies this theory to create attention to the brand messages.


2. Establish Visual Hierarchy

For every visual content, hierarchy is established with the layout of the elements.

The space between the elements helps to prioritize of the important elements creating a visual hierarchy and the alignment and balance help it appears as a simple cohesive design.

Each element within a design may require to have white space (padding or margins) to help improve on communicating your brand message.


3. Have One Element Of Your Design Stand Out

To either create a macro or micro whitespace (the large space between major layout elements or the small space between design elements) with your layout, avoid cluttering your design to increase your design to stand out.

Have a single element and other elements minimal to create more white space.

Less is often more when it comes to visual design because as less clutter makes it easier to convey your message.

A well-balanced content with whitespace enables you to express your brand or message clearly.


4. Readability

As the choice of background that is noisy may reduce readability tremendously, having white space makes the difference.

In designing for either print or the web changing the whitespace with the layout affects reading performance and overall user experience.

When choosing typography specifications, such as font, size, colour, style, leading, kerning, and tracking. White space also matters to make the readers have and improve the experience when reading.

Micro and macro white space is essential for making your content legible.


5. Set Your Design Tone

Use of white spaces in different proportions either as macro or micro white space preset the tone of your design.

Use of macro white spaces in a website brings in a sense of luxury to the web pages, while use micro white spaces more than macro white spaces help to define an informative website, such as the character of a web page in a news website.

A magazine with larger amounts of macro whitespace may reflect minimalism and sophistication.



Having white space as an element in itself creates unity and impact within your design.

Elements can be grouped, emphasis created and legibility improved within your design by introducing white space.

Whitespace is associated with elegance and sophistication since it is a way elements get organized either text or images and direct users attention to specific elements.

Point to remember white space can be any area within a design that is free from a text or images.

Going for a simple layout instead of a complex is the way to keep readers interested.


How has white space helped you in improving readability and guide the user through your visual content?

Paul Simiyu

Founder and Team Lead of Simpaul Design, a brand strategy and design agency in Nairobi, Kenya. Here at Simpaul Design, we work with brands across various categories with a focus on connecting with consumers and building brands that people want to be a part of. We specialize in brand identity and strategy, UX/UI, and brand transformation.