White Space

White space: the empty, negative space around the elements of a design.

Designers use white space to make their key pieces pop.

They draw the eye exactly where they want it to go.

So can you.

For the visual aspects of your brand—your logo, marketing collateral, website, book art—hire yourself a top-notch graphic designer whose work you adore (do not scrimp here) and let them loose.
                                                                                                                                  But why stop there?

White space is oxygen. Your big idea—that big, bold, bodacious idea that is at the core of your work—needs white space to breathe.

White space lets your audience connect with you. It gives them a chance to try on your idea and make it their own. To project themselves into your world. To get so excited about it, they simply must share it with their posse. Fast. And velocity is what we’re after, right?

You can do this 1-1 or 1-1 million (gotta love social media) by sticking to one central, clearly articulated point. It’s tempting to show your audience all your stuff, front and center. Resist.

Less is more.

p.s. To see white space creation in action, watch a home renovation show (“Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis” on Bravo is a personal fave). The designer tosses out years of accumulated mash-ups, injecting drama and pizzazz by focusing on the 1 or 2 treasures that were already there.


  • This is a tough one on the graphic part.

    Ultimately I pick one but because of how I self-taught myself so much dating back early in my career, creating political and civic flyers and the like, I have a strong sense of what I want (and what works). I have still have not settle on a logo per se and am not sure. It will surely wait through the next set of business cards. In part, I think, I want the focus on my name — they guy people hire. I see no need to hide behind ‘someone and associates’ when there are none (amazing how many in a similar “trade” as me do.).

    Agree so much on the white space– which also becomes a cry for brevity (recall those “six words”!) in what we write (and say).

  • Another lesson I learned during my employment at an art museum. Make your point – clearly and succinctly.

    In fact, one of my favorite lines: white space is good.
    Rochelle, thanks again, for taking an idea from another discipline and demonstrating why it is relevant for all of us advisors.

  • Hi Corey and Diane,
    Thank for your contributions! Corey–you are smart to know clients buy YOU and so you don’t need fancy graphics, but they do need to convey you.

    Diane, no one does white space better than your former art museum–what a fabulous petrie dish that must have been!

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