Research 6 – White Space

White space, also known as negative space is the remaining space around and between an object or subject. This style of art was developed my Alexey Brodovitch in the 1950s however during the 1970s it became fashion for tabloids to cover every inch of the page in celebrity gossip, photos and headlines and so the use of white space soon died out. In the 1980s some artists started using white space again to show off their typography skills. Now a days white space can be seen in art books and posters. The idea behind white space is that the more space there is the more the object or word gives off an aura of inaccessibility. The negative space left may also form an image like with may optical illusions.

For me the advantages of using white space is that all the attention is on the object of which is being advertised and so people will know what it is the poster is meant to advertise, is the poster shown a number of objects then it would be hard for people to know what is mean to be advertised. Also a crowded page will make it hard fro people to focus on the main object, it also makes the page look more classy and professional than cramming everything in. The disadvantages of this concept is that you can’t show a background and I might want to show that my car is fast by putting it on a race track, but with white space I can’t do that.

From this concept I am getting the idea of having a a dark coloured car up against a white background so that it stands out, however this concept does’t give me a lot of ideas to work with.

Visual Analyse Example 1

Negative space in art

This work is called Rubin’s vase and was created by Edgar Rubin’s in the early 1900s. The work is one of the world’s most famous optical illusions. In the centre of the work, there is a silhouette of a white vase, the negative space around the vase however show the silhouette of 2 faces.  The designer has used the concept white space in this work by having the image of the vase in the centre, form 2 faces from the negative space around it.

The purpose of the work is to create an optical illusion, the concept helps do this by having the negative space around the image of the vase form the image of 2 faces staring at each other, this helps form an optical illusion because when you just look at the work you see a vase but if you look closely you can see faces.

The successful part about this work is that because it is an optical illusion it forces the viewer to look harder on the work to see the image of 2 people, I also found it very interesting how 2 different images can be formed in the same work, however after a while I lost interest. The unsuccessful parts about this is that there are only two colours used, black and white and so it does not standout very much and after you get over the optical illusion it looks a bit boring and that very exciting.

From this work I will take away the idea of using the negative space around my car to form a new image or I could use the negative space inside the car to form an image, however I will make sure that  I use some colour so that it attracts people to look at it and so that it looks more interesting.

Visual Analyse Example 2


This work is called observations, it was made for the magazine Harper’s Bazaar in 1959. The page shows John Huston and Alfred Hitchcock, they are the only things that are featured in the page and there is a white background behind them.

There is not much information given about this page and so i’m not really sure what the purpose of the page is meant to be, but I think it might be to show who John Huston and Alfred Hitchcock, the concept white space helps does this by showing the 2 against a white background, because they are both wearing dark coloured clothing they standout from the background, also because the background is plain there are no distracting things in the back, the white background also makes it look classy.

Overall I don’t really like this example very much, to me it just seems very boring and unappealing there is nothing that is really going on that makes me want to look at it, maybe if some colour was added it might be more interesting, also there are no words or texts to tell me who is who, so I have no idea which one is John Huston and which one is Alfred Hitchcock.

From my idea I will make sure that I make the poster look appealing so that people will want to look at it and so that it does look boring like adding colour so that it stands out.


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