How to make good use

of white space in your

marketing materials

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White space in layouts for print and web refers to the whole gamut of spacing within the design. It's a simple principle, but when used properly it can have real impact.

Headlines and intros

Your headline and intro paragraphs have to have an appropriate level of white space between them and the body text that follows. Too 'tight' and it'll look like you are trying to save space, but too loose and it will look strung out and like you've made an error

Line-spacing

The spacing between the lines of text in your paragraphs in the body text, and between the headlines and intros is vital in making it easily legible.

Gutters

When you have multiple columns of text the gutter is the vertical space between them and needs to do more than just stop the two columns of text crashing into one another. A generous gutter will make the text more inviting, and easier to read as well

Margins

The margins are the spaces in areas of the paper (or screen) that occur at the top, bottom, left and right of the content. They help 'place' the content into the design, and help it 'breathe', without adequate margins the design looks ragged, overfilled and much more difficult to read

There are no hard and fast rules regarding spacing as it will vary dependent on the material, the audience and the style of the piece, but experiment with space and don't be afraid of it

Paragraph spacing

There need not be any horizontal spacing between paragraphs of text (this can be achieved with an indent on the first line), but it does provide a natural 'resting point' for the reader and enhances the appeal of the overall page

Bullet points

There needs to be a good balance of space between each of the following (and generally all of these spaces need to be subtly different to achieve a balanced look): The list of bullets and the paragraph of text that precedes and follows it, each line (if the bullets wrap onto multiple lines), and each bullet point

Images

You need to have adequate space when flowing text around an image

Captions

These need to have neat spacing between them and the image they relate to, but also between them and any surrounding paragraphs of text

There are no hard and fast rules regarding spacing as it will vary dependent on the material, the audience and the style of the piece, but experiment with space and don't be afraid of it. It is your friend and with practice is a vital tool in enhancing the appeal of any marketing material. Take a look at the visual guide below…

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