Whitespace is the space between elements in a piece of work. More specifically the space between major elements is macro whitespace.
Micro whitespace is the space between smaller elements – lists, captions, images or between words and letters.
Designers use whitespace to create a feeling of sophistication and elegance for upmarket brands. Coupled with the intelligent use of font and photography, whitespace is seen all over luxury markets.
Cosmetics advertising embrace the extensive use of whitespace in marketing material to tell the reader that they’re stylish and superior in quality.
In the case of direct mail, material needs to appear down-market to work and adding whitespace to this type of design would lend an undesirably upmarket quality.
Less whitespace = cheap
More whitespace = luxury
A lot more goes into branding than just whitespace, but as a project lands on your desk for a luxury brand, it’s likely that the client and their target customers will expect whitespace to align the product with its competitors.
Active and passive whitespace
Whitespace is often used to create a balanced, harmonious layout. One that just feels right.
It can also take the reader on a journey through the design. When whitespace is used to lead a reader from one element to another, it’s called active whitespace.
Once you know how to design and manipulate the space outside, inside, and around your content, you will be able to give your readers a head start, position products more precisely, and perhaps even begin to see your own content in a new light.