It’s called a “White Out”

There we were on the ski lift, we couldn’t see the ground let alone the ski slope! Everything was just a white space, swirling flakes of soft cold fluffy stuff!

Skiing off the top of the slope into the whiteness was surreal like jumping into a blank piece of paper.

The white flakes obliterated everything. There were no shadows or highlights to guide my path, no telling whether I was skiing into a drift or whether the run would suddenly drop away beneath my skiis. Then out of the ‘blur’ another skier shot passed, appearing out of nowhere – rather faster than me I might add! However, I saw him clearly as he appeared and disappeared, in fact, although the snow was just as thick, I can still describe the red jacket and the blue salopettes, nothing out of the normal but he stood out in the endless white space of the landscape. He disappeared very quickly but I had been able to identify him easily, it would have taken ages to have singled him out in the sunshine and crowded slopes of the day before.

How similar, when you find yourself standing in front of the packed shelves in the supermarket unable to find the right baked beans or packet of biscuits you crave.

Every product fighting for space, shouting out and flashing their labels but all merging into one. You can’t see the ‘wood for the trees’, as the saying goes!

Too many messages, too much colour, too little space, too much noise!

Take a step back, add a little space – white space to be exact!

Creating a product brand or advert that will stand out from your competitor doesn’t mean shouting as loud but very often a whisper in the right ear will do the job. A good designer will know how to use the negative space and the white space within a design and layout to create impact.

Look at the adverts for expensive products – less is always more, look at the newspaper listings and adverts, scanning over the pages of small black type what catches your eye?

It may not be larger text necessarily but it will have considerably more space around it or it may be a single bright colour standing out on a monochrome background. Colours are more effective when not fighting for dominance. Simple, uncrowded, spaced and balanced design. Too many elements confuse the eye, which stops the brain absorbing the right messages and therefore the advert or literature becomes useless.

The secret of getting your message across is good content. A headline offering a solution to a problem that gets attention. Well written information, good quality images that attract and appeal. Clear contact details and a call to action! UNCROWDED, and comfortably readable!

Spotting someone in a crowd is far more difficult than in a snowstorm at the top of a ski pass even when you know who you are looking for!!


Many thanks to ‘©Sastimos’ for the skilift photo above – we didn’t know he was watching!

angie phillips Written by Angie Phillips, Design Consultant - Helping you create business by creating effective design with expertise and efficiency. Personally committed to my clients and always happy to offer advice. Promoting and helping you to grow through strategic introductions even after our work is done. More design tips and useful information here