If you were cruising down the street, and saw this sign (above), would it grab your attention or peak your curiosity? Maybe you would slow down to look around for a new building that accompanies this new sign, or wonder what store just went out of business? In today’s world, we are constantly being bombarded by visual design: magazines, streets lined with billboards, websites filled with ads in the margin. Seeing a blank sign like this would be different. My overstimulated brain longs for something different. Something that doesn’t crowd me or scream for my attention. I long for less. I long for white space! While we can’t always control the amount of white space in our everyday lives, we can control the white space on our scrapbook pages!
White space, also referred to as negative space, is “that portion of a page left unmarked: the space between graphics, margins, gutters, space between columns, space between lines of type..” –Wikipedia White space gives a design room to breathe, and it gives the viewer’s eye a chance to rest. Adding white space to a layout makes a page less cramped, overwhelming or chaotic. Effective use of white space can transform well designed layouts into fabulous works of art!
Does white space have to be white? Nope. In a nutshell, white space is void of photos and journaling. So technically, a block of patterned paper is consider white space!
Let’s take a took at a few digital layouts that effectively use white space.
(All layouts are linked.)
Jasy1983’s fabulous layout is full of white space….that is actually white! The white paper surrounding the design provides a space for our eyes to rest while showcasing the focal point: the adorable snow beauty photos:
Here is a layout that I made. Even though the background paper is red, this area of the layout is still considered white space. Remember, it doesn’t have to be white or a solid color to be considered white space.
kfite7’s layout is full of fun photos. She wisely framed her layout with blue paper which serves as white space and gives her layout a common margin. Her effective use of white space (even between her photos), along with a fabulous color chord choice, makes this layout pleasing to the viewer’s eye.
Nietis’s adorable layout is full of life and embellishments, but it’s not overwhelming! Why? The patterned paper on the left, along with the yellow/tan background paper, gives the viewer’s eye a resting place. Nietis also does a great job of repeating colors and shapes. You can read more about repetition HERE.
nana z’s simply designed layout speaks volumes! I love how she divided her page into thirds – 1/3 is paper while 2/3 is photo. Her effective use of white space (charcoal colored paper) along with her fabulous photo and thoughtful Bible verse, make this layout superb!
Now, there is one rule to follow when using white space in your layout: do not trap the white space! Trapped white space is an area that is boxed in, or has no direct route out to the edge of the page. Great memories + trapped white space = a hot mess!
Here is a layout that I made years ago when I first started scrapping. I circled in pink the areas of trapped white space. Don’t laugh.
I did a great job having common margins around my layout. I thought I was rockin’ the layout by using the light grid brush to form a visual triangle. But I failed miserably when I trapped some white space not once, but twice! There might even be a third space (far left above the family photo) that could be considered trapped white space! I could have easily avoided this mistake be either adding a little embellishment or brush work to these areas, or I could have moved the photos a bit to eliminate the space all together. Ah, live and learn!
Be mindful of trapped white space in text too:
Thoughtful use of white space keeps a layout looking organized and helps to highlight the focal point of the entire page. Do you have a page that effectively uses white space? Link us up in the comments section of this blog post. I would love to see your work!
Stop by My Blog today for a free template that emphasizes white space.
There are more awesome design tips right HERE at The Daily Digi!
P.S. SharonS is the random winner chosen from yesterday’s feature on Scooty’s Designs. She won $10 in product from Scooty’s designs, congratulations!