_do you need some space?

On a scale of 0 to 10, where 10 equals 'Felix Baumgartner free-falling from the edge of space' and 0 equals 'stuck in a very small lift with Brian Blessed', as you tap around pages on the web how spacious does your experience feel?

Space is important. 

We need space to let ideas breathe and grow. We don't find enough of it. We need to find it in order to consider how we respond to what messages come towards us. This is true in design, it's true with music, and it's true in life generally.

Good communication in design, I believe, is about making way for a dialogue. If you are trying to make an emotional connection with people, provide room for them to think about what you've just said, or done - time for it to sink in.

Creating space around a thing means it becomes a focal point. That thing turns into a place for the eyes, mind and heart to land, and the space around it means—for a small moment—that it's message might be considered carefully without interruption.

Creating space in your layouts, designs and communications means that the messages you choose to put across have greater emphasis, and they also have room to grow. If a message relies on hard sell and no let up, then if you make any sell at all, you're likely to elicit an ill-considered purchase, which will not help you create the relationships required for sustainable business in which you are known as trustworthy, respectful, and for putting your clients' best interests at heart.

Finding space in work and life is crucial because you will come to things more considered, more reconciled, and you will also be better for having taken the time you need to wrestle with sometimes conflicting ideas.

Someone gives you their message; don't be bullied into reaction. Insist on space to think it through and make your own, dignified response.

Space allows true dialogue to evolve - dialogue that moves you, and ultimately that moves us.

  • Amidst all the excited visual chatter online, how do you use visual communication to create space that lets the really important things stand out?

  • Have you found any interesting examples where a message is amplified (or squashed) by a good (or bad) use of space in design?   

The images in today's post I created with a photograph of the trees outside our new office window. We moved in yesterday, and having a big sky view again after a few years of working in subterranean spaces, a view of the treetops symbolised my thoughts very well.

If you would like to use these images in your blog posts, please do get in touch.