Negative Space

“Negative space, also known as whitespace, refers to the unmarked areas of the page. Collectively, it is the margins and the gaps between text blocks and images. Whitespace is as much a part of a composition as the titles, words and pictures. The Swiss typographer Jan Tschichold calls whitespace ‘the lungs of a good design’1. In addition to giving elements breathing room, judicious use of whitespace can dramatically improve the visual appeal and effectiveness of figures, posters and slides.

The term whitespace stems from the printing practice in which white paper is generally used. Margins and gaps that separate blocks of text make it easier to access written material because they provide a visual structure. Well-planned negative space balances the positive (nonwhite) space and is key to aesthetic. Asian art makes wide use of negative space to create harmony and to add dimension to flat silkscreen prints.”

http://www.nature.com/nmeth/journal/v8/n1/full/nmeth0111-5.html

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