Space – the final frontier

Space is a beautiful thing. Used well, it can say as much or more than words or pictures. When it comes to our own businesses, too often we fall into the trap of believing that we have to cram as much on to a page as we can – because we think we’ll get more value for money (“If we fit all this into four pages, it will be cheaper to print”) or because we just don’t know what to leave out (“I think my business card needs to include a detailed explanation of what I do. And this quote from the Dalai Lama. And a photo of my cat.” Actually, there’s nothing wrong with putting a photo of your cat on your business card.)

Here are three examples of great design that pay respect to the art of making space.

1. Negative space

Using negative space (the void or area in or around the type or image) is one of the first tricks of the trade you learn at design school, and when it’s done really well it can produce some truly memorable results. This one for a jewellery boutique by designer Ryan Russell is a classic example. The positive space is a woman’s face, while the negative space is a peacock, cleverly embodying the unique characteristics of the brand.

2. White space

Don’t think of white space as wasted space – it can make a powerful statement. As you can see in this business card designed for photographer Kelly Kirlin, white is calming, pleasing to the eye and focuses attention where you really want it. Minimalism enables your message to shine, and it has a long shelf life too.

3. Empty space

You don’t see so much of it in the modern area of digital print, as it’s quite an expensive finish for short-run items, but die-cutting can add an elegant extra dimension to your design project. These cute cards designed by Elfin are simple, effective and memorable.