So yesterday was all about contrast and today we are going to be talking about positive/negative space in design.
Just for reference, here’s were we are in the “basics” posts:
- Layout and Composition: the grid, the rule of thirds, hierarchy, rhythm, unity, contrast and positive/negative space, white space.
- Typography: fonts, using different fonts together, adjusting font (using kerning, tracking and leading), using type.
- Color: color theory, using a color story/palette, primary, secondary and tertiary colors
- Line and Shape
- Illustration and texture
You can use positive and negative space to give impact to your layouts, draw attention or “give a spotlight” to a photo or element, or create a sense of calm in design. Negative space can be used even when it’s being filled with a color or texture. Positive space isn’t just a state of mind, it’s activated space in a design, or filled space. Negative space is empty space (but not necessarily white/blank space.) You’ll soon see what I mean.
Take Minimalist Baker, for example:
She uses the yellow background to give emphasis to her subject (pumpkin, yay!). I love this technique, it makes even the simplest thing look like an art piece. We will talk more about photography later, but I had to mention Minimalist Baker because I feel like positive/negative space is totally her thing!
Another way to use positive and negative space is to use type or a text box overlaid over a photo. Notice how the positive space on the right balances the negative space on the left. The feature photo is also an example of how positive and negative space can work.
More on space in tomorrows post!