As promised, today’s topic is going to be the famous whitespace. Scientists are very skilled when it comes to using space effectively (especially when it comes to lab space 😉 ). However, we also try to used all the space available when we design posters and presentations. If there is still a bit of space left, we will fill it with graphs, schemes or text. Might sound effective, but what we completely neglect is the power of the whitespace.[title type=”” size=”h5″ style=”” bigletter=”” alignment=”left”]What is whitespace?[/title] Whitespace is – as the name already says – the space that is left between your actual design elements. However, whitespace does not necessarily need to be white. It also is defined as empty space in general and may as well be a coloured area or even a photograph in the background. Whitespace is mainly responsible for making your design look elegant and clean. [title type=”” size=”h5″ style=”” bigletter=”” alignment=”left”] 3 ways to create whitespace[/title]
- Whitespace can also be present in text. In this case it is mainly the spacing between the letters and lines. Titles can be made less dense if you increase the space between the letters. Using capital letters also increases the whitespace. However, capital letters should only be used for titles and not for the main text. Separate your text with columns. This not only creates more whitespace but also makes text more readable.
- Remove unnecessary elements. If certain elements do not have a distinct function, remove them. This applies for example to borders and boxes. Those elements often narrow and limit your design.
- Reduce the amount of graphical elements and reorganize your text. Especially in presentations there is no need to stuff your slides with information since you are normally not limited to a certain number of slides. Write less and talk more. This might be different when it comes to posters. Don’t be afraid to group your information and ultimately do not put everything on your poster.
For more examples on whitespace, you can simply look around. Modern magazines use this concept a lot, but also billboards are great examples for the effective use of whitespace.
Do not be afraid to leave space empty on purpose. Whitespace is your friend!
Penguin pictures taken from: http://www.photovolcanica.com/PenguinSpecies/Emperor/EmperorPenguinPhotos.html