Apr 04, 2023
5 minute read

How To Create Engaging Negative Space in Web Design

Around 50% of consumers consider web design a vital component of a company’s overall branding. If you’re a small business owner, it’s incredibly beneficial to create a website that’s attractive to your target market.

While colors and vibrant elements play a huge role in catching viewers’ attention, too many of these can be overwhelming and distracting. Hence, it’s important to strike a balance and include strategically placed negative space on your website. Read on to learn more about negative space and how you can effectively incorporate it into your website’s design.

Understanding the Role of Negative Space

Negative space, also known as white space, is an empty or vacant portion of a website. It’s usually seen around a central object, but it can also be placed between or inside major visual elements.

Negative space plays a crucial role in web design. It creates a breathing space and prevents your website from being overly cluttered by text, images, and functional components.

Despite its name, negative space doesn’t necessarily have to be white, plain, or hollow. Any color or visual pattern can be used to create negative space so long as these elements are not treated as the central subject.

Inspiration and Examples of Effective White Space

Many popular business and e-commerce platforms use negative space to highlight products and services. If you want some inspiration, here are a few websites that effectively incorporate white space in their design.


Apple is one of the most profitable companies in the world, and its marketing methods are a huge contributing factor. To highlight the sophisticated designs of iPhones, MacBooks, iPads, and other products it sells on its website, Apple uses a lot of negative space.

If you go to Apple’s homepage, you’ll notice that there are barely any bright colors. Most of the page is filled with a grayish negative space. The same holds true for the individual product sections. White space covers a huge portion of these sections, and only the product images and minimal text serve as distinct elements. This is all done on purpose to highlight the visual aesthetics of the merchandise.


Similar to Apple’s website, Squarespace also uses limited visual and UI elements on its homepage. Most of the page is covered by slightly varying shades of green with an unassuming pattern. This allows the promotional text and transitioning images to stand out.

As you go further down the homepage, you’ll see that the negative space changes. Some sections use a white background, while others have black and gray empty spaces. This shows that despite only lingering in the background, negative space can still add to the style and character of a website.


Quip also uses negative space both in its main interface and the images that showcase its electric toothbrush solutions. Most of the homepage is filled with white space, while the product images have a light gray background.

These colors are ideal when promoting toiletries and other personal care merchandise since they not only help the products stand out but the light colors also make them look cleaner and more hygienic.

Furthermore, a bluish negative space can be seen in Quip’s main poster. Interestingly, there’s a moving pattern in the background. However, instead of being distracting, it adds a layer of charm to an otherwise standard white space. This proves that there are creative ways to incorporate negative space into web design.


The Magento ecommerce development platform helps programmers and company owners create cyberbusiness websites. One of its digital posters uses a combination of warm and light shades of orange to fill the empty spaces. This color scheme is eye-catching and will prompt site viewers to peruse the perks of using Magento.

The color orange is likewise used as the negative space filler in other areas like interface buttons and text boxes. This implementation demonstrates how you can use negative space to promote and stay consistent with your company’s color branding.

Ways To Effectively Use Negative Space in Web Design

There are a few ways to improve your website’s overall design through the use of negative space.

Create a Visual Contrast

Negative spaces are supposed to make the main objects of your website pop. Hence, choose a color filter or visual pattern that contrasts with the central subject. If the main subject is a golden retriever, you can use negative space in the form of a white, black, or blue background since these colors contrast the natural hue of the dog breed.

However, there are instances when a negative space should complement the central image. For instance, a somber image of a dog in grayscale should be accompanied by a darker negative space as well. In this case, the negative image supplements the tone you want to establish.

Observe Visual Hierarchy

To maximize the effect of negative space, you should observe visual hierarchy when arranging UI elements and pictures on your website. A popular organizational structure is the Z layout.

When visiting a website, most people pursue its contents using a Z-pattern. They first look at the top left side and move horizontally to the right. Then, their gaze moves to the center area. Lastly, they skim the button portion starting from the left side and then going to the right.

Take advantage of this pattern by placing the most important section, like the navigation bar, at the top of your website. Then, put key elements like a product image or company tagline in the middle. Finally, place supplemental details at the bottom area.

Allot Sufficient Space for Negative Space

Negative spaces provide breathing room, designed to give your audience a reprieve from striking and active site elements. Hence, allot a sufficient area for negative space.

Moreover, there should be adequate distance between the central subject, texts, and other UI elements of your website. Otherwise, they would look cramped, and the negative space’s purpose would be defeated.

Final Thoughts

Negative space is an important element of web design. Top companies use negative space in their respective online platforms to highlight their products and services. From creating a visual contrast to adequate space allocation, there are several ways for you to incorporate white space into your business website.

You can also hire a product design team website developer like Hierographx. We are a full-service digital agency in Saginaw, Michigan that can add strategically placed negative space to your online platform.

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