Do you love Negative space in web design?

Web designers are giving much attention to negative space in their web designs. As a result, they are making profitable websites.

Someone super wise once said that with great website comes a great online presence!! (No, it was not Spiderman or Uncle Ben)

Today, you reap more benefits for your business from a 1200 pixel screen than 1200 Square Feet store.  Even your most thriving business or not-so-thriving business too will need a website immediately.

Now, a lot goes into developing a website; to make it usable and, also, to make it look stunning. How you portray your website can make or break a business!

For instance, would you go to an important meeting in your pajamas?

You would want to look exquisite, won’t you? The website’s visual perception is important; though not defined succinctly. We must understand that a website needs to have an aesthetic appeal for a lasting effect. A good web designer will vouch for that!

An assortment of elements contributes to creating a stunning visual effect. Some of the elements are perceivable like suitable color scheme, flat design, and easy-to-read-text. Some other elements in the design are subtle. One of these subtle elements in your website design is the “negative space” or “white space”.

This term “negative space” or “white space”, is most commonly used by painters too. Just as a canvas is to a painter, a web page is to a web designer.

What Is Negative Space in a Web Design Layout?

The web page area is categorized into two kinds: positive space and negative space

First: The actual content- the active part or the part of the design the user comes in direct contact with, i.e., images, body, header, columns, and menus makes up the positive space.

Second: The space surrounding the content is the negative space. The space between different elements in a layout is also the negative space.

See what I mean by positive space and negative space in a web page layout with the help of this illustration:

Negative space in web design layout across all the screens

The filled up sections with colors is positive space and the spaces with white color is what is known as negative space.

Margins and padding around the elements are also an important part of negative space. The use of negative space is a fundamental component. It is also the most undervalued and misunderstood aspect of web designing.

There are two elements of negative space:

  1. Micro Negative Space

It deals with negative spaces between or around the smaller elements of design. Like the spacing in typography. For instance the blank spaces between words, lines within paragraphs and two paragraphs.  Also, space between list items, between caption and an image is Micro Negative Space.
Check this picture for better understanding.

Space in content

  1. Macro Negative Space

It deals with the negative spaces around the larger elements of design. For Example, space between the header and body, footer, sidebars, columns and so on.

The Importance Of Negative Space in a Design Practice

When your food reaches you in a restaurant, you tend to smell it first and embrace its presentation. The tasting comes much later. So is the case with a website.

A well-presented, balanced layout makes a connection with the viewer first and serves later.

Negative space can bring harmony between the different elements of a webpage. It makes it easy on the eyes. Use Negative spaces correctly in your design and it can add a dimension to the content whole together. Negative spaces help to enhance desired features of the layout. It brings attention to important elements on the web page.

White space is not wasted space.

Negative space can bring the much-desired elegance and professionalism to a web page.

Jan Tschichold says “negative space is to be regarded as an active element, not a passive background.” It works with the positive space to make an over-all user-friendly web page, which can accentuate an online presence, which will ultimately increase sales!

How You Should Make The Best Use Of Negative Space in your Web Design

As observed by the folks at BusinessLabs, that to bring out great results, an effective combination of web design elements like space, content, usability, call-to-action are required. You must also read this entire post to understand how to design a website to increasing sales.

Negative space is an important part of the combination. Making creative use of negative space mostly depends on the designer’s discretion and imagination. There are no hard-and-fast rules for going about this.

Nevertheless, a few basics can come in handy:


micro negative space used in business labs home page

Usually, we try to fill up a lot of the space with text, images or too many elements. Our instinct might be to put it all right in the viewer’s face, but we must avoid it. Not only we end up overwhelming the user with so much information, but we also compromise on the readability of our website. To make your site easy to navigate and your content easy to scan, chuck the excess out and put two essential elements within a respectable distance. Crammed content is hard to go through and is off- putting, which is a bad web design if not anything else.

It is important to realize what is important and what can wait, which brings us to the next point.

Strategic Placing:

White spaces draw focus to elements they surround, a characteristic we can use in our favour. Proper placement is more about great usability rather than the aesthetic appeal. It depends on individual website requirements mostly.

For example, an e-commerce site like Amazon cannot opt for minimal content. While sites like Google and Bing can, and that is not what a customer expects on Amazon anyway.

When we categorize our content into what is important, what needs attention and what is related, we end up making a professional, user-friendly, interactive page layout. For instance, a call-to-action like a Facebook “like button” can be placed at the topmost position- it needs attention. The main content can take the central position, and the related content can be mentioned but continued on the next page.

It is all about creating an order. With order and balance in the content, the main USP of your business is easily accessible to the viewer, even if the viewer does not want to settle down with minimal content.


Both micro negative spacing and macro negative spacing needs a keen eye.

When it comes to micro-negative space, keep eye on these details:

  1. The spacing between words or letters or lines is not underdone.
  2. The space between paragraphs and line items is not too much.

Space in content

In macro-negative space, the headers, logos, and other larger elements need to have a balanced and consistent space between and around them. The common mistake is bombarding the sidebars or footers with content; must avoid it.

Macro negative spaces

Among the best spacing examples are logos. Here, the negative space not only supports the content but it forms a symmetry and enhances the positive space. You can check out in this post, the coolest of logos and a few spacing tips.


To incorporate negative space in an efficient way, one needs to delve deeper into its concept. However, it is achievable.

Moreover, to quote the beliefs of Businesslabs;

Designing a website or an online real estate is not about implementing the tools that are ruling the trend. It is about finding efficient ways of delivering the message behind your design. Negative space helps you do that.

Treat website space as real estate. Each and every square inch of space needs to treated very in a very important manner. Sometimes less is more. An overcrowded web page with whole lots of information and more than one CTA’s makes a user confused. With best use of negative space, you can make user dive deep into your content. 

Did you find this post reliable and helpful? Do let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to share your encounters with negative space.

Moreover, if you are looking for some super wise advice to serve your online business needs, you can just select the service appropriate to your need and share your goals with someone expert or directly say hello over here.

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