The Secret of Whitespace

by | Jun 21, 2019 | Change, Ideas |

There is a bouquet of flowers sitting on our table bursting with a multitude of colours. I asked my 3 year old daughter, what colours she could see.

“Lots of green Daddy”

Not the answer I was expecting, but very true. I was expecting orange, yellow, red, purple or white, and not green. In fact, I would not have even said green. My eyes, or better said, my brain has been trained to not ‘see’ green in bouquet of flowers.

Similarly we often don’t ‘see’ whitespace, however whitespace is a critical feature of design as it draws our eyes to specific features of the design, allows other parts to pop up, and allows our eyes to breathe. Interestingly, whitespace has a number of different definitions including the unused radio frequencies.

We can view whitespace as ‘unused’ or we can view it as deliberate, necessary, critically important. We tend not to notice it when it is there, but when it is missing we will.

What is the whitespace (or greenspace if you think more like a gardener) in our projects? Critical to make different parts of the project ‘pop’ and shine, but tends to blend into the background. It could be processes, people, culture but helping to understand it helps make your project sing.

Photo by Samuel Fyfe


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