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Design Spotlight: On White

January 23, 2014

Color is such a predominant factor in determining how a person will react to a visual and what story that visual will tell. In our daily lives, we're surrounded by such saturated colors, that it can really be refreshing to take a break from that overstimulation. Designs that rely heavily on white to communicate their stories and connect with an audience seem to almost have to do double-duty without the aid of color. The design has to communicate the feeling and the concept; while that's true of designs that rely on color, it's particularly satisfying to see an effective design brought to life by white. I've rounded up just a few that illustrate this beautifully.

A pearlescent geometric foil pattern on the cover of COÖP's 1.1 Architects Brochure creates subtle texture and dimension that alludes to the complexity of the firm's architectural structures. This is definitely an experiential piece that would be great to see in hand, but for now, check out more images here. (The elastic binding is fantastic!)

While the complete identity for the men's skincare line Ursa Major features a rustic palette, Ptarmak kept the product packaging minimal but fresh — presumably what guys are looking for in their skincare products. 

Ian Coyle's scroll-to-reveal portfolio site, Edits Quarterly, lets his work dictate the color stories, allowing each project to make its own statement. But it also reminds us how important that vessel is for holding all that work and revealing just a little bit about its maker. Check out Ian's film and photography work here.

Medium is a collaborative blogging platform for hosting little stories and manifestos by a variety of authors that shows just how effective white can be in quieting out the noise — and why it's necessary. This site is for serious readers. Content is the focus, with little else to distract...color not exempt. 

Crisp, clean whites. Anagrama's identity for The Nordic House Washing, Drying & Ironing gets right down to business. See all the details here:

Podi food branding by the Bravo Company is one of the few uses of monotone food photography that manages to stay appetizing. This treatment mimics the earthiness and pureness of the natural, organic food from which the concept of the entire restaurant was derived. No food coloring needed.

The color choices, as well as type sizes and styles, in the editorial design for Nadja: André Breton by Carla Cascales Alimbau, aid heavily in conveying the depression experienced by the main character in the story. The exposed construction of the book also parallels the intimate content.

Quadradao designed a visually-compelling identity for the architecture firm, Poparq. While the logo and some collateral can be produced in an over-saturated palette, the black and white version nods to form and construction.