Negative space is the area around an object in a photograph. It is extremely important in art because its use can have a significant impact on the mood and tone of the final piece. Negative space is also important in design, and the proper use of negative space can be particularly difficult for typographers, as minor differences can mean the difference between artistic success and complete disaster.
Negative space can be illustrated simply tracing one’s hand on a piece of paper and coloring it in. The white space around the hand would be considered negative space. He could also do a reversal, coloring in the area around the tracing, but since the hand is the object in the image, the colored area would still be considered negative space. The way this space is used in a composition has a big impact on the final product.
Negative space can be used to alter the viewer’s perception of the object being depicted or to set a specific mood. It is frequently used to frame objects in art, drawing the viewer’s attention to the piece’s focal point. Many people prefer to use equal amounts of negative and positive space in their compositions to achieve a harmonious balance, but this isn’t necessary, and experimenting with the negative to positive space proportions can produce some very interesting results.
Negative space is a factor in three-dimensional compositions, in addition to being considered in flat visual arts. In Japan, for example, the issue of is addressed in garden design, and it is referred to as ma, a Japanese word that means “gap.” Negative space is also taken into account in dance choreography and actor placement on stage in everything from opera to monologues.
Negative space is crucial in typography, whether a typographer is working on a magazine article or an art broadside. Negative space can change the meaning of a piece in a variety of ways, depending on how it is composed. When used incorrectly, it can make a piece difficult to read or unappealing to look at, whereas well-balanced examples can draw attention to the composition’s most important or notable elements. It can sometimes be as noticeable as the positive space, particularly in the case of some company logos.