Ask The Designer: Negative Space?


Embrace negative space

The proper use of negative space is often overlooked by beginner and advanced designers alike. What is negative space (or “white space”)? It’s the space in your design that’s not occupied by any visual or written element. A design piece that doesn’t incorporate enough negative space is like a sentence with no spaces – itisdifficulttocomprehend.

Jan Tischold, one the most influential typographers in history, stresses this importance: “White space is to be regarded as an active element, not a passive background.” The effective use of negative space is just as crucial as the design itself. Don’t believe me? It’s scientifically proven that white space improves legibility and comprehension. Consider white space at every stage of your design.

Try It Yourself

Learning to effectively use white space won’t happen overnight. You’ll have to try out many different options to find what works for each design. First, I’d recommend reading some of the articles on this reading list, compiled by David Kadavy of Design For Hackers. Then, try and put some of these theories into action.

Remember, there’s no hard-and-fast rule to using white space. It takes practice. Eventually, you’ll find that exercises in resizing elements in your composition and changing the layout will lead to a natural understanding of the amount of breathing room required.


Images: Google search

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Ask The Designer: Feedback Cliches?



Rest assured, graphic designers are professionals and can handle your criticisms.  We do realize that you won’t find everything flowers and sunshine on the first few drafts.  However, we did sweat and cry over that project, so just please be considerate.  And be specific.  Vagueness, cliches or overused feedback simply doesn’t help. If I hear “make it pop” one more time, really I just might pop a cap! Okay, maybe not quite.  But cliches can sure send my head into a spin.

Rather than saying, “make the logo bigger,” try using phrases such as, “The logo needs more emphasis.” Or “The logo is difficult to see.”  Solid feedback will endear you to your graphic designer as their best client ever and your design project will be all the more successful and strong.


Ask the Designer: Things To Know

Find some great and quick advice for the creative by Adam Kurtz over at design sponge in his article; 8 Things Every Creative Should Know.


Ask The Designer: Why Copyright?

Why is ownership of a graphic design important, anyway?


It’s a given that the client will usually want exclusive usage rights for custom designs when branding their identity. While stock designs have a generic appeal and are available to multiple users.

Very much like buying real property such as a car or a home, title is everything. Ownership of a graphic design’s rights allows freedom of its use. It can be used where and when needed without infraction to copyright law.

Designers may like to reuse some of their creations in future projects and thereby would not be willing to release the rights. At least, not without reasonable compensation. Many may barter for royalty fees in lieu of transfer of rights. However, custom logos are rarely suited to other applications and transfer of rights is typically incorporated into the cost.

Bottom line is, it’s about the bottom line.  Paying extra for full usage rights makes the design uniquely yours.

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Ask The Designer… Perfect Design Tool?

Graphic by Domism @ DesignYourWay.Net


What is the Perfect Design Tool?

Making the human connection resonates with me. Too often we are caught up in the fast paced world and today’s advanced gadgetry, not to mention the ever looming deadline.  There is also the drama in the news headlines to distract us.  We forget to focus on the reality behind the human story.

We are all people, after all.  Individual persons with hopes and aspirations, with fears and dissappointments.  The client is a person.  The client’s customer is a person.  And the graphic designer is a person, too.

I came across the following post titled, “The Perfect Design Tool.”  It reminds me to put the focus on service for people.  I hope you enjoy the read, too.

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Ask The Designer…

What makes an image effective for internet use?


“Use a picture.  It’s worth a thousand words.” – Arthur Brisbane

Arthur Brisbane

Besides, the world wide web would be a boring place without them.  Visual information is also quick and convenient.  Images trigger emotions and engage the viewer making content memorable.  We should consider a few specifications when choosing images for use on the internet.  These considerations include size, resolution, relevance and effectiveness.

What are the images’ purpose?  Are they relevant and supportive to the site’s content?  Do they attract viewer attention and guide the viewer’s line of sight?  Is placement related to the adjacent content?

Images are of great value to the presentation of information.  We perceive approximately 90% of all information visually, after all.  So, it’s worth taking a little time to think about how to use them in your content management.


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Design Know How for Social Media

Posting regularly to social media is great for keeping your business on top of the search engines.  Did you also know it’s impressive to coordinate visual elements of your profile?


Visual principles should be applied in social media just as with all your collaterals.  Color matching your page header with your profile photo is a great example.  Creative shapes and styling can also make a profile pop. Check out the examples below.
Read more design hacks over at
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