“It’s a waste of selling space”
“We need to make use of those gaps”
“Look at all that unused space”
As publication design specialists – it’s a common occurrence for us to hear this kind of reaction. We are, of course, referring to the use of ‘White Space’.
So if you’ve ever been baffled as to why white space is important – then this content is for you.
However if you aren’t familiar with this, ‘white space’ is an element used in all forms of design work and is the term given to an unoccupied area on a piece of creative.
There are two different kinds of white space. Active, which references any space intentionally placed into the design or page. And passive, related to any space which is there but not of use functionally – like the gaps between words for example.
Our in-house catalogue design guru James Harvey (who handles the spread design elements for the much-loved Lakeland catalogue among others) urges marketeers everywhere to not overlook the power of white space, and embrace the value it can add to a product spread.
Contrary to popular belief, James says that white space isn’t ‘empty selling space’ but a tool brands can use to enhance their offerings and even the reader experience. A common misconception is that it should be used as a space for extra content, when in reality space has a huge role in the overall effectiveness of the finished spread.
How? Well lucky for us, James has shared his expertise, providing three ways in which white space can improve a design spread:
1. The Reader Journey
The tactical use of white space is a nice method of guiding the reader to where and how you’d like them to look. This adds an element of focus to the page acting as the “guide for our eyes” as if you’re walking down a shop aisle yourself. White space can act as a great counter balance to high-dense spreads too, adding a change of pace to how a catalogue is read.
2. Luxurious Quality
Ever seen a press advert for Apple? Of course you have! And Apple is a prime example of how space in print can convey quality. This is because the right use of active space adds a degree of calm and sophistication to a spread. Reducing noise and allowing the reader to focus in on one thing – how great the products are. Sometimes less really does mean more.
3. The Product Hierarchy
In a cluttered space full of products, deals, roundels and noise, it’s easy to get lost amongst too many messages – and too many messages might as well be no messages. So rather than overloading the reader with information, white space allows a brand to really showcase the most important products or offers, by giving them breathing space, especially in hero areas.
This means brands can actually use white space to upsell the most important products by ensuring they are the focal points the readers notice first or the most.
We’re very proud of the work we do so we’ve also included some of our latest Summer spreads showcasing how we use white space for the benefit of the much the loved catalogue for Lakeland.
Who’d have thought that saying nothing could do so much?