Communicating is hard. No doubt. I’ve been teaching communicating (writing, speaking, designing) for years, and I know how hard it can be to say just what you mean.
One of the reasons communicating is hard lies in the interstices (the silences, the small pauses between words) that can shift meaning. As hard as it it to explain, the negative space in designs helps understand speaking and silence, positive and negative space.
This logo helps explain negative space. When we speak, our words carry meaning. So does what we don’t say. Silence can be shock, agreement, or complicity. Silence is as complicated as speech. In design, negative space is the area that we don’t immediately see. There is nothing there, except context. Then we see what was there all along.
Instead of more words, the designs explains negative space and the power to hold it.
Often, we don’t like silence. We will try to fill it if it continues longer than three seconds. But silence can be eloquent and powerful. Use it.
Quinn McDonald is a writer who knows the power of silence. She teaches business writing, speaking, and designing presentations.