Empty Space Is Always a Good Thing!

Take a look at the picture of the display above designed and produced by our talented FBD2 team for Airsep Corporation. What area of the design grabs your attention first? I’m going to go out on a limb and say you either noticed the logo or the text first. Actually, I know either of those elements are where your eyes first focused. You’ve just experienced the visual power of negative space!

Negative space or “white space” (which isn’t always necessarily white) is an effective tool in creating compelling designs. These areas are void of any text or imagery and help draw focus and emphasize on the important elements that are present in the graphic. There are two types of negative space – Active and Passive. Active negative space is used intentionally in the design process while Passive negative space is added as a result of the layout process.

There are quite a few reasons why negative space works successfully in the realm of graphic design:

– Helps Direct the Viewer’s Eye – Eye flow is very important. The use of white space directs the reader or the viewer as to what the eyes could view next.

-Improves Readability – Books and other print materials utilize white space to allow the reader to see and understand the text. The same goes for designing. It allows for the message of your graphics to be comprehended well.

– Creates a Balanced and Harmonious Layout –Spaces create a balance in your output. Without white spaces, your design will seem to create unsteadiness in the eyes. Imagine reading a magazine or an advertisement with no spaces between letters and images. You wouldn’t want to read that anymore! These spaces also show the relationship of one element to another.

-White Space Attracts the Eyes – With certain graphics, the design can be more influential than the purpose. Using white space can attract attention to designs, even from far distances.

-Creates Professional, Sophisticated and Elegant Designs – Generous white space is used in the luxury market. Advertisements of expensive and branded items usually come with white spaces. Most of the time, cosmetics use posters that have more white spaces to show that their products are of high quality and expensive. If you are observant, most local and cheap products come in colorful packages but expensive ones use minimal colors.

Interestingly enough, human beings possess the “law of parsimony” in our visual stimulus, meaning we naturally prefer to look at things that are not crowded and heavy on the eyes. With the mindset of “less is better”, the use of white space paves the way to a clearer communication of ideas and highly effective graphic design.

SOURCE: Karren Liez, www.NaldzGraphics.net

Think Outside the Box

I wanted to share a fantastic article in regards to creative problem solving and how we all think. I found this very enlightening and I hope you all do as well!

Today I am going to share with you a question I was asked in a job interview 8 years ago. This question really inspired me and changed my outlook on the way I thought and approached problems.

Question: You are driving along in your car on a wild, stormy night, it’s raining heavily, when suddenly you pass by a bus stop, and you see three people waiting for a bus:

1) An old lady who looks as if she is about to die,

2) An old friend who once saved your life,

3) The perfect partner you have been dreaming about.

Which one would you choose to offer a ride to if there could only be one passenger in your car? This is a moral/ethical dilemma, so let’s look at the options that were in my head at the time:

* You could pick up the old lady, because she is going to die, and thus you should save her first;

* or you could take the old friend because he once saved your life, and this would be the perfect chance to pay him back.

* However, you may never be able to find your perfect mate again.

I won’t tell you what answer I gave, but needless to say, I didn’t get the job. But I was intrigued, so I called back a week later and asked what the right answer was…

Here is what they told me:

The candidate who was hired gave this answer:

“I would give the car keys to my Old friend and let him take the lady to the hospital. I would stay behind and wait for the bus with the partner of my dreams.”

Sometimes, we gain more if we are able to give up our stubborn thought limitations. Never forget to “Think Outside the Box.”

SOURCE: Dean Hunt, www.deanhunt.com

14 Words That Lose Money

For all those setting up e-commerce sites, writing marketing copy or simply communicating with a client via e-mail, it’s important to know that there’s many commonly used words that can prove to be detrimental in achieving a sale. Below is a list of 14 normally used words that can be hazardous when applied to selling as well as some ways to avoid them:

1. Price

Price is a hard word to avoid, but it’s always worthwhile to substitute other words in its place. With e-commerce sites, including the actual price can actually prove more beneficial than using the word “price.”

2. Cost

Similar to “price”, this word is sometimes hard to avoid as well.

3. Sign

“Sign” can overwhelm your potential customers with a feeling of permanence in their purchase. Instead of asking customers to “sign in” to your page, try using the phrase “log-in”,”For your convenience, enter your details” or even “For faster checkout, enter your details”.

4. Buy

“Buy Now” buttons can intimidate potential buyers as it gives them a small window with their buying decision. Try something more friendly such as “Add to Cart” or “Proceed to Checkout”. By doing this, the buyer will feel more comfortable knowing they have time to contemplate their purchase.

5. Expensive

Just avoid this word all together.

6. Deals

Refer to any kind of “deals” as “Sales” or “Specials” instead. The word “deals” can imply the products could be cheap or that the rest of your products must be normally overpriced. The ultimate perception is in the eye of the consumer.

7. Sold

“Sold out” can come off as a negative phrase. Instead of listing products on your site as being “sold out”, either remove them completely or refer to them as “Currently Unavailable”.

8. Charge

“Charge” is another one of those intimidating words to customers. Replace words like “Charge Information” or “Charge Account” with “Billing Information” or “Credit Card Information”.

9. Try

When cross-selling products, refrain from saying “Try these other products you may like”. It can come off as making you sound pushy. Instead, use “Other Items of Similar Interest” or a phrase along those lines.

10. Bad

“Bad” is simply that. Replace “Bad Login” or “Bad Credit Card Number” with “Invalid Login” or “Invalid Credit Card Number”.

11. Lose

Saying “You have nothing to lose” may “lose” you a sale. Discuss benefits of the product or service to your customer instead of using this tagline.

12. Complicated

“Not Complicated” can be a heavy sounding phrase. Try “Easy to use” in place of it.

13. Risk

Next to “expensive”, one of the words you should steer clear of.

14. Obligation

“Obligation” can scare customers by implying a sense of commitment to your products and services. Even in the negative sense, “No obligation” can work against you.

SOURCE: Eric Leuenberger  “14 Words that LOSE Money” , zencartoptimization.com