Negative Space And the Principles of Web Design

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Every web designer follows his pillars of art and design. Without them art and web design is bland and meaningless. One of these pillars is negative space, often referred to as white space in web designs. Examples show best how the use of white space is employed but a modest idea can be given to elaborate its application.


Why Negative Space Is Crucial To The Page

Without negative space no web design can meet its mark. It needs to be present in the layout of the page to appeal the user and display clarity in the designer’s work. Basically, all the elements on the page will remain in non uniformity if negative spacing is excluded from the recipe. Consequently, the page becomes suffocated and the users lose interest and abandon the website.

Appropriate distance between elements is essential and web designers make sure they make the best out of negative spacing. It might seem slightly unimportant and trivial, but once you are through with this post you will never forget the significance of white spacing in the web design.

A perfect example of white spaces is Google which is full of white spaces to make users focus on the most important section i.e. search.


How To Make Sure The Page Is Appropriately Spaced

To start off with the basics let’s first assert on the fact that negative space is as important to a website as is air for you to breath. It is not a bad thing, as some designers generously start filling and feel obligated to flood the white spaces with loads and loads of graphics, videos and features. This not only induces the page to shrink but leaves the user confused, and later bored.

No one likes to bear tight spaces. It makes them uncomfortable and potentially unwanted. Cramming the text together will produce a spammy unreadable look for the user, but leaving too much negative space can also be a problem. So if you are a rookie at this you must first learn to maintain equilibrium between the two.


Using The Correct Recipe For Web Design

Make negative space your ally and seek its assistance in every website design. If you use it properly it will undoubtedly prove to be a worthy friend. It presents the dilemma of a dual sided axe, a little hack or an obliterating blow, both can be unfavorable.

Gradually as you will learn to employ it more frequently in your web designs, you will train your eyes and mind to distinguish between the right amount and the overly excessive amount of it in the layout. White Spacing changes with projects so you need to create a knack for visualizing the right balance. FmeExtensions is a good example of simple web design with right white spacing balance.


Elements Of A Web Page And Their Significance

To web designers, the greatest advantage of text-related negative spacing is to maintain the distinction between categories and page elements. If the company logo is showing on a website page, then it will be utterly stupid to smooch it with a header. Every element has its own importance hence reducing the distance between them will demean their position.

White spacing has several other uses as well. It increases the weightage of certain elements by allowing space surrounding them. The overall text and background can cloud the visibility of essential elements and negative spacing can help them stand out so users can emphasize on them. Element size combined with negative spacing makes the viewer tick, and wanting to interact with the element.

Typography is yet another crucial aspect of web design. It is also greatly affected by white spacing almost the same ways elements are on a web page. The letters must be large enough and adequately spaced or else the words will get asphyxiated sending a bad message to the viewer.


Paragraphs In Typography

If the typography does not meet the readable standards then the content will be pointless to look at because the headers have failed to grasp the viewer’s attention. The content below (paragraph) the headers should be in a confining distance with the header so the user can read the content in correlation with the header. Good Magazine exhibits perfect use of well spaced-typography.

It should also be kept in mind that the paragraphed content itself should have appropriate spacing so the lines do not collapse in the eyes of the viewer. It is recommended for web designers to add extra bottom margins.


Integrating Minimalism

Minimalism can be defined as ways of art, genres of music and other layers of literature. However, for web designers minimalism is rather a very challenging aspect of designing a website and can take time to master.


Minimalism Does Not Discriminate Talents

There is absolutely no requisite for learning minimalism and everyone can take their shot at it. Basically, minimalism can be described as stripping down all the unnecessary elements until the necessary ones remain for design and purpose.

In context of web designers, minimalism can be the process of taking away the accessories and supplements until nothing else remains to be removed. That is called minimalistic design along with the intervention of the latest trends.

Keeping the layout with minimalistic standards cannot be achieved without the use of white spacing. The idea is to incorporate minimalism with typography and create the ideal page that 90% of the viewers enjoy.


Areas Of Potential Spacing

If you can calibrate content areas effectively, then negative spacing can give balance to the layout of the web page. You need to develop a good eye for detecting the smallest of irregularities then adjust them with white spacing.

There are three major areas where negative spacing affects differently. The header, footer and the middle ground content region. At the first glance, the typography might look pretty much the same, but if you observe a little more the roominess of the containers can be seen. Balance is felt more off than seen.


Macro And Micro White Spacing

It is imperative for web designers to understand, better yet, to use this concept in designing web pages. White space or negative space can be divided into two major portions: macro space and micro space. A good use of both micro and macro spaces can be viewed at Studionudge.

Macro space can easily be defined as the negative spacing present between the significant page elements. It includes the headers, primary and secondary content, navigation and footers. The space occupied between borders of the page and sidebars is also macro space.

Micro, as the name suggests, is the little spacing present inside of the content and page elements. They include image spaces, padding for navigation links and paragraph margins etc.
Both these concepts are essential in setting balance to the web design and creating the perfect page for the viewer without damaging the content or the website structure. Macro is effective when you need the user’s immediate attention in case the content is weak and Micro can be helpful when the page is majority content oriented.



Negative space can be a healthy attribute of a web page but like sleep is to humans, its excess can be harmful. To maintain a healthy standard, negative spacing must be kept in balance.

Negative space must be injected with adequate proportions. Find good examples of web pages that have correctly integrated negative spacing into their compositions. Bring new ideas and keep practicing to make your work to the point of perfection. Once you have mastered the aspects of negative spacing, your web designs will become irresistible and will start converting some major traffic throughout the globe.


Author Bio

This contribution is made by Simon Walker. He is a professional web design expert currently working for FmeAddons. A company known for it’s out of the box CMS extensions.

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