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How to Use Negative Space in Design

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How to Use Negative Space in Design

The use of negative space in design is important in creating a balance aimed at giving a clear, concise and compelling message. Just like when sketching a portrait, you will try to keep all the ratios intact to prevent the image from looking alien by using shapes to align the elements, besides keeping the dimensions of the original piece intact. In some cases, you may find yourself using negative space to enhance the visual, thus giving a superior definition to the design.

In every design you will ever come up with, negative space in design will always be used to define your illustration. And if you understand how you can use it in the right way, then you will have the ability to create another layer of meaning to your designs.

How the mind treats negative spaces in design

There are two distinct approaches the brain uses to analyze negative space. The first approach is that the brain will register the empty space in the design. You may try as much as possible to ignore it, but it will spring back in front of your eyes so that you recognize it properly.

Secondly, the brain offers a very strong impact on empty space more than how it recognizes it. You may not make meaning of the negative space immediately, but your subconscious mind will get to work and give meaning immediately to what you are seeing. Due to this, strategic use of negative space in design has always proven to be a winner in the success of the concerned graphics.

Getting the most of the negative space in design

Evidently, the use of negative space in design is such a crucial knowledge every designer ought to have as part of their design arsenals. You won’t just benefit by displaying high quality and prolific designs, but also, your work will attract the attention of the target audience leading to success for your clients. Below are five tips you can use to get the most from the use of negative space in design. Constant practice is, however, important for you to gain proficiency and be more comfortable in applying this design concept.

Envision the negative space

Before you use negative space in your design work, you must be in a position to envision it in the particular design you are working on. You must try and see the negative space just as clearly as you see the positive space so that you understand the kind of impact it will have on your design. This might require some practice, but you will find it simple once you start to compare the negative and the positive spaces together.

Know when enough is enough

The next thing in using negative space in design is to be able to tell when enough is enough. You must be careful on how you manage the negative space on the canvas lest it ends up ruining your whole design. Besides, there are no clear guidelines on the proper use of negative space in design, and this leaves you on your own to manage everything without losing the design. As a guide, you can use some of the great designs with negative space to get an idea on how to manage yours when designing. Always remember that too much space can be distracting just as too little space, and it is your duty to strike a balance and find something that works well.

Explore different ways to use negative space

There are myriad ways to use this concept in design in an effective manner. For instance, you can distribute it equally across the canvas only that placing the object at the center of the design is sometimes considered less attractive. This is because the viewer expects the object to be at the center and to put it there doesn’t give the reader a chance to make an effort at reading the message. But when you place the object on the sides then surround it with ample empty space, you shall have created high interest and engagement area for the reader.

Negatives spaces don’t have to be blank stretches all the time

As a designer, you have the liberty to introduce shapes and designs on the empty spaces instead of leaving them blank all the times. This is especially important when you want to use negative space in design where multiple messages need to be conveyed.

Use negative spaces to highlight parts of the main images

One of the rampant uses of this concept in design is to highlight an important part of an object or image. In this manner, the negative space will be used to draw the viewers attention to an important section of the design. This has proven to give stellar results in layouts or similar designs where user interaction is needed, or the viewer is required to perform a given task such clicking a button or another link.

For future reading on creating flat minimalist designs check out this post!

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