Whether it’s a website, ad, brochure or billboard, clients often want to use all the space you have available. After all, they’re paying for it – right? Well, yes, they’re paying for it. But that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to fill the whole space!

It’s no secret that a smart use of white space in your design can help communication a message in an uncluttered way. But can you have too much white space? No you can’t…  and here’s my personal evidence.

I was walking through Times Square while in Manhattan last month. The area is covered with advertising. The ONLY ad I actually remember was for a Louis C.K. HBO special, on the Walgreens 7th Avenue street-level billboard.

I’m sure it caught my attention because of its simple use of white space – and a lot of it! Take a look:

Use of white space in design

The Times Square billboard area at Walgreens is among the most expensive outdoor advertising in the country, with over 1,600,000 daily impressions. Yet this particular design is mostly empty! Is it wasted space? Absolutely not, because it’s the only ad I remember from my entire NYC trip.

So the next time a client thinks you’re “wasting space” on one of your designs, show them this photo and tell them you don’t want to waste space by using it all up!