I still smile when I recall, as a young designer, a client once insisted I fill the white space in his advertisement with ‘content’. Otherwise, he said, he wasn’t getting his money’s worth.
These days, I pretty much never hear this argument. White space, as it turns out, has value.
But it’s not just about reducing noise, white space touches on something fundamental. It’s about bringing focus and emphasis to an idea. It’s about simplicity.
Achieving simplicity can be hard, but always worthwhile. Simplifying or paring back content has a tendency to strengthen it, as the exercise forces us to distill what is truly important.
And knowing what is important, I would argue, is the first step to both good design and good communications.
Aegis is a strategy and design practice that builds emotionally-intelligent brands and organizations.
The first bold use of white space created plenty of noise in the ad world. Think Small was one of the most famous ads in the advertising campaign for the Volkswagen Beetle, art-directed by Helmut Krone. The copy for Think Small was written by Julian Koenig at the Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB) agency in 1959.