Whitespace is your friend

You know what one of the best marketing tools is? And it’s also free or dang cheap? And fits the less-is-more idea?






Recently, we were finishing up a new design on a site. The new design was amazing. It was crisp and clean and so easy to read and easy for clients to navigate through to a successful visit. Why? Because we plenty of whitespace.

Whitespace is simply the portions of a design piece that are left unused. In the design I was referring to before, the client wanted us to remove the majority. I believe the line the client used once was “hey there’s some extra space there, what would we just put there?” Whitespace, or those unused areas (doesn’t have to be white in color), provide the marketing piece some room to breathe and live a little. It allows us to craft a piece that can easily walk a user through from start to finish and guide their eyes to where we need them to go.

Can you go to the extreme? Sure, I guess. You could make a user scroll for a good long time on a website. On a print piece you would run out of paper eventually. But having everything jammed in right next to each other takes away from everything. When you cram more and more and more into a design you are inevitably left with simply less and less and less.

Want a great example of whitespace? www.google.com. What is the one thing Google really wants you to do on their homepage? Search for something. Because of all the whitespace in that design, where is your eye pulled to – the search bar. Consider my hometown newspaper, www.greenbaypressgazette.com. Not as much whitespace, not even close. Now there’s a lot of things vying for attention.

If it’s a print piece, again you can run out of room on the paper, but you really shouldn’t have all that much to say on one flyer or banner stand. If you do, you’re likely missing the purpose of that medium. Whitespace is a wonderful marketing technique and when put to use can have a considerable impact on the overall success of a marketing design project. And it doesn’t even cost much (if anything) to use, just a little planning.

KIS Your Banner Stands

Going to trade shows and expos can be a lot of fun for a business owner. They are a great way to introduce your company to potential clients. When you’re in that crowded expo hall and fighting to be noticed by attendees, having a retractable banner stand is a great way to draw attention to your booth. The key, is to “KIS” your business stands – Keep It Simple.

We’ve designed plenty of banner stands at Full Scope Creative. Banner stands provide one more opportunity for you to reach out and grab interest from passers-by. For one client, we used colors not commonly seen in their line of work or industry. In that instance, just one subtle difference – a new color being added to the room – was enough to draw noticeable interest.

While the idea is to catch the eye and draw attention to your booth, many clients want to add too much text to their banners. A banner stand functions like a small billboard: more of a simple hello and less of a sales pitch. They can provide something for the attendee to look at if you’re busy talking to someone else, but they should not function as a large brochure.

Once a potential customer walks into your booth, the focus should come off the banner stand and be directed to a knowledgeable company representative armed with detailed marketing materials. We can fit much more content into those pieces than we possibly could on the banner stand, and really, take-home brochures, flyers or swag work much better as selling tools – the attendee can take them home.

There are no defined rules for how much text to put on a banner stand, but it is certainly a “less is more” sort of situation. Images work great. Icons work great. Splashes of color that will grab an attendee’s attention work great. Numerous lines of text will not be seen, much less grab anyone’s attention, from across the expo hall.

Banner stands are a great item to have as part of your trade show or business expo booth, but they need to be kept simple. We may live in a “social media” world, but at these events, people are looking to interact with another person – not a banner stand. “KIS” your banner stands by remembering to “Keep It Simple,” and have a knowledgeable person with plenty of takeaway printed materials do the selling.