Every advertiser begins with the same blank space: The New Yorker magazine showed how two pages in Printer’s Ink could really be filled creatively 

White space distinguishes this New Yorker magazine advertisement that appeared in  Printer’s Ink, the trade paper devoted to the print world

Great adver­tise­ments com­mu­ni­cate by cre­ative­ly using the com­po­nents of adver­tis­ing design.

White space is a key com­po­nent in every adver­tise­ment.  Used prop­er­ly it is not waste space.

There’s a lot of white space in this full-page ad. The head­line and the illus­tra­tion are the only oth­er com­po­nents. See how they work togeth­er to get the mes­sage across..

In this page the read­ers’ eye may be attract­ed first by the illus­tra­tion but there is a pull to jump to the big, bold head­line. Or, if you start with the head­line, there’s a nat­ur­al ten­den­cy to drop to the right cor­ner. Either way, read­ers learn quick­ly that The New York­er has cir­cu­la­tion across the Unit­ed States.

There’s noth­ing fur­ther to be said in this mes­sage; addi­tion­al copy would be redundant.


bland space is the key component  in this advertisement for The New Yorker magazine

Note also the bal­ance in the design: the head­line is cen­tered and the illus­tra­tion is just the right size and in the right spot. Three lay­out com­po­nents — the head­line, the illus­tra­tion and white space, work smooth­ly in this advertisement.

Unlike the wide-open advertisement above, this advertisement uses almost all of the available space — big, big headline, a big illustration that dominates the page, squeezing the body copy to the very edge of the page.

Here the illus­tra­tion may first catch the eye but the bold head­line quick­ly pulls the eye upwards.  It reads eas­i­ly, almost with­out any eye movement.

The  head­line quick­ly leads the read­er to study the claim that The New York­er is a two-face mag­a­zine. So there’s a moment to review the illus­tra­tion before seek­ing an expla­na­tion in this beau­ti­ful­ly cre­ative copy.

Typ­i­cal of The New York­er adver­tise­ments, this copy makes the point suc­cinct­ly and with humour. Check it in the blue type below the advertisement.

The body copy at
the bottom reads:

blank space in this New Yorker advertisement has been filled with a giant illustration

Before it gets read, it usu­al­ly gets thumbed.
Right-hand­ed read­ers thumb from front to back.
Left-hand­ed read­ers thumb from back to front.
Or is it the oth­er way around!
Your ad could be first or last, depend­ing on the read­er.
What’s more, to a right hand­ed thum­ber, a left-hand page get’s high­er notice.
And to a left-hand thum­ber, a right-hand page gets high­er notice.
Or is that the oth­er way around, too?
So you can see why a request for a “right hand page far for­ward” means so lit­tle in The New Yorker.

No offence intend­ed but this adver­tise­ment for The New York­er extolling the virtues of any page, left or right, appears on page 9, a right hand page. Did they ask for it or was it posi­tioned randomly?