Taking the concept of “negative space” beyond design

2 min readApr 2, 2019


Photo by Jack Finnigan on Unsplash

Negative space is a concept that’s popular in art, design, photography & architecture that labels a part of a composition “empty”.

Negative space is empty space.

It doesn’t only apply to visual design. In music, negative music is silence. The absence of melodies at that point helps the musician’s composition.

To design effectively we must understand that not every space must be filled.

There’s negative space. There’s positive space. This concept can be extrapolated.

Source: The Elephant Journal

In life, for example, it happens where there’s “emptiness” not the negative kind, but the unfilled kind.

Most people:

sleep > work > talk > eat > sleep

Obviously, life is more varied and full. Here, I’m trying to show the “empty space” moments. Those moments when “nothing really” happens or that have little significance in the grand scheme of things.

Looking at it that way, negative space can be “used”. It can be activated to make the foreground starker. It frames the foreground and allows it to stand out and give balance.