Negative Space is Positive Space

By Matt Wilson

Being an optimistic individual, I love to study the negative elements in graphic design. No, not the bad composition, abusive use of horrible fonts or the utilization of clip art brazenly selected from a 4-inch thick catalog. But rather the genius use of negative space to strengthen a design and communicate a thought. Always look for the negative when closely inspecting a graphic. You never know what you’ll find.

Without diving into the nitty-gritty of figure-ground reversal and the Japanese word Ma, negative space is simply the online casino space that surrounds and defines the subject (positive space) of a piece. If used properly, this often-overlooked element of design can bring balance, a whole new side of the story, and can quickly become the TRUE subject of an image. From the classic arrow strategically placed in the FedEx logo to the simple shapes created by of one of my favorite graphic artists Noma Bar, negative space can be a powerful tool in designing. Negative space is positive space.

Negative Space

Sound Idea #32 – Working with “The Other” Fonts

By Matt Wilson

I love type. I love it so much, sometimes I get hung up on using only the “good safe fonts”. You know, the tried and true, safe and predictable ones. They space themselves, look good in any weight and make it easy to get approval from our clients. So, I challenged myself to create a standalone piece using the crème de la crème of “the other” fonts. You know, those system fonts that make you wonder why they even exist at all. The ones that take up space between Helvetica and Universe. It proved to be an uncomfortable task. But, as I reflected on the title of one of my favorite quick reads by Paul Arden “Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite”  I decided to jump in, embrace the Bee Knees and have some fun.  Flashbacks of college design projects went awry. The struggle with bad letter spacing and strange letter forms became the joy of the challenge. And, in the adventure, I think I learned a valuable lesson. Sometimes, you just have to take what you have to work with and make something great happen. I wonder if this could apply to my cooking? And although I probably won’t go straight to Papyrus for my next concept, I have a renewed respect for font designers and their unique creations… whether they are “the other” fonts or not.

si typo

Sound Idea #015 – Make your LAUNCH party take off

As many of you know, we just recently launched our brand spankin’ new website. The process of developing a new site can take a while and you want to make sure it’s done right. But, the reward of launching your new site is probably one of the most exciting times for a company. It’s seeing all of that hard work come to fruition. It’s knowing that the long hours of planning, design, development, strategy, etc. were all worth it.

Many companies fail to recognize the hard work of those who had a hand in the creation of the site. They make their site live and that’s it. No excitement. No party poppers. Nothing. It’s another item checked off of someone’s “To Do” list and the site is soon to be forgotten. The key to success with your website is to get your staff to own it, love it, and be excited about it.

When we launched our website, we made it a big deal. Our President, Dave Hazen waited for the countdown to finish as he pressed the “LAUNCH” button. Streamers, popcorn, novelty toys and the whole staff were present. We made it a celebration of all of the hard work that went into making our baby. It was a fun time for all and it got the staff excited about the site, what to add next, and how to make it grow.

So if you’re currently working on a site or are in need of a new site, be sure to plan your launch party. Your team will thank you!

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