White Space: Page Architecture, Unity, and Type

The purpose of editorial design is to make the material on the page more easily read and absorbed. It is necessary to make the page look inviting, attractive, and effortless to read. Do not fill in all the space, which will overwhelm readers with sheer quantity of information.

WhiteSpace-PAUTWhite space is a “not-element” It surrounds or lays behind imagery and type. It is the ground in the figure/ground relationship. It is the site on which architects design their buildings. It is emptiness that must be taken advantage of, not merely filled in. “A vacation house is a place for rest… It is usually far from the noisy world… It provides peace and quiet… On every layout ask yourself… ‘Where would I build my vacation house?’… And ‘Would it be quiet enough there?’”

White space is either active or passive Active white space has been carefully considered. Its shape has been planned. Active white space is the primaryt attribute of well-designed, high quality magazines. Passive white space is emptiness “left over.” It is not used to organize information or guide the reader. It makes designs ugly.

White space attracts readers It makes pages accessible, look nonthreatening, and persuasive. It also adds whimsy, which does have its  place in magazine making! Too little white space makes a page look crowded. This is a trait that can be exploited!

White space emphasizes horizontality or verticality, but not both Thin vertical columns or wide horizontal layout connects facing pages in a spread. The underlying grid should be planned to accommodate different kinds of information. This allows flexibility in image size and positioning.

White space: Unity Unity indesign is having all elements working together to make a single visual point.

White space connects photos, elements, and pages Keep spaces between the same, like bricks. Use white space to connect pages throughout a magazine. A distinctive treatment makes individual pages easier to absorb and becomes  a defining characteristic in a magazine.

It isn’t enough to have white space. The emptiness must be usedA good page has a structure that ensures effective white space use. This case study is of a daily devotional guide whyose design evolved unguided over 60 years.

White space: Listening to type A daily working definition of good typography is “frozen sound.” Active, considered white space and dramatic, consistently applied type contrasts make information on pages pop.

White space shows contrast between kinds of information It can show off the most important element without having to make it huge. Use a type hierarchy and make font choices to clarify true differences, not just to decorate or enliven the page.

White space strengthens headlines… If removed between characters, words, and lines of type. Reducing “not letterform” makes type darker and therefore more visible. Sufficient white space placed on the outer edge of columns can be invaded by hanging indents.

White space alters text Increased interline spacing describes a shorter story or sidebar article. It can be also be used to make a story opener look like it requires less commitment.

White space separates and connects type Like a fence or wall, white space organizes otherwise open, shared area. Breaker heads must belong to the  text that follows them, which they describe. Use space as a separator by putting twice as much space above breaker heads than below. “Glue” captions to their respective pictures by significantly reducing the space that separates them. A one-to-two ratio is sufficient to make the relatedness visible: make the distance between the caption and its picture half the distance as the caption to other elements. END

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