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Using White Space


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design aesthetics

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Using White Space

  1. 1. U S I N G W H I T E S PA C E
  2. 2. F O R M + S PA C E
  3. 3. FormForm is considered a positive element, a solid thing or object.
  4. 4. Space Form is considered negative—not in a bad way, but asthe absence, or opposite, of form. Space is the “ground” in which form becomes a “figure.”
  5. 5. Form + SpaceThe relationship between form and space, or figure andground, is complementary and mutually dependent: it’s impossible to alter one and not the other.
  6. 6. Form + Space = Visual Logic Visual logic, all by itself, can also carry meaning. Thefigure/ground relationship composed in such a way that the feeling this compositional, or visual logic, generates is perceived as appropriate to the message.
  7. 7. Designing is the process of looking for and showing off the similarities and differences inherent in thecontent of a visual message. This can sometimes take a good deal of time if the similarities do not immediately present themselves. But the search for similarities is at the head of what a designer does. (From Alex White, Elements of Graphic Design)
  8. 8. C O M P O S I T I O N A L W H I T E S PA C E(putting stuff into space, p64)
  9. 9. The designer’s job is not to fill in all the space.It is to make information accessible and appealing.
  10. 10. The Resolved Composition To say that a composition is “resolved” means that the reasons for where everything is, how big the things are, and what they’re doing with each otherin and around space—the visual logic—is clear, and that all the parts seem considered relative to each other. (From Samara text)
  11. 11. What makes white space acompositional element and not just empty space?
  12. 12. S T R AT E G I E S F O R A R R A N G I N G F O R M Distinguishing Forcing clear separation between individual formalelements enhances the sense of difference between them.
  13. 13. S T R AT E G I E S F O R A R R A N G I N G F O R M ClusteringThe greater the proportional changes in the outer contour of the cluster, the more dynamic it will appear, along with the spaces around the cluster.
  14. 14. S T R AT E G I E S F O R A R R A N G I N G F O R M Aligning Creating edge relationships.
  15. 15. S T R AT E G I E S F O R A R R A N G I N G F O R M OverlappingAllowing one form to cross in front of another, even if both are the same color, will create the illusion of foreground and background.
  16. 16. S T R AT E G I E S F O R A R R A N G I N G F O R M LayeringThe use of transparency in a cluster enhances the illusion of the apparent existence in three dimensional space.
  17. 17. S T R AT E G I E S F O R A R R A N G I N G F O R M Bleeding When forms within the composition space appear toleave the format they imply a much bigger composition extending outward into the “real” world.
  18. 18. S T R AT E G I E S F O R A R R A N G I N G F O R M Kinetic SequencingIntroducing changes in size, rotation, and interval among elements will create the impression of movement and progression.
  20. 20. Terms you Legibilityshould know: Readibility Type color Page color Margins/Measure Alignment Leading Letterspace Space after/before elements
  21. 21. Carl Dair, 7 Types of Typographic Contrast (1968)
  22. 22. Size “A simple but dramatic contrast of size,” says Dair, “provides a point to which the reader’s attention is drawn. Set in the samestyle of type, it maintains the exact relationship of the letter to thebackground. It is only a physical enlargement of the basic patterncreated by the form and the weight of the type being used for the text.”
  23. 23. John Baskerville, title page for Vergil’sBucolica, Georgica, et Aeneis (Pastorials,Farming, and Aeneis), 1757.Baskerville reduced the design toletterforms symmetrically arranged andletterspaced; he reduced content toauthor, title, publisher, date, and city ofpublication. Economy, simplicity, andelegance resulted.
  24. 24. Weight"Not only types of varying weight, but other typographic material such as rules, spots, squares, etc., can be called into service to provide a heavy area for a powerful point of visual attraction or emphasis."
  25. 25. Form By "form," Dair means the distinction between a capital letter and itslowercase equivalent, or a roman letter and its italic variant. He includescondensed and expanded versions under "form," and he even allows as how "there are some script types which harmonize with standard types, such as the Bank Script and Bodoni on the opposite page, and can be used for dramatic change of form."
  26. 26. Pierre Simon Fournier le Jeune, pagesfrom Manuel Typographique, 1764and 1768. In addition to showing thedesign accomplishments of a lifetime,Fournier’s type manual is amasterwork of rococo design.
  27. 27. Structure "The use of contrast of structure may be compared to an orator whochanges his voice not to increase or decrease the volume, but to change the very quality of his voice to suit his words."
  28. 28. Texture Put all these things together, and apply them to a block of text on apage, and you come to the contrast of texture: the way the lines of typelook as a mass, which depends partly on the letterforms themselves and partly on how theyre arranged. "Like threads in cloth," says Dair, "types form the fabric of our daily communication."
  29. 29. Color Dairs sixth contrast is color -- and he warns that a second color is usually less emphatic than plain black on white (or white on black), so its important to give careful thought to which element needs to beemphasized, and to pay attention to the tonal values of the colors used.
  30. 30. Direction The last of Dairs seven kinds of contrast is the contrast of direction: theopposition between vertical and horizontal, and the angles in between.Turning one word on its side can have a dramatic effect on a layout. But Dair points out that text blocks also have their vertical or horizontal aspects, and mixing wide blocks of long lines with tall columns of short lines can also produce a contrast.