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In this article, we explore Active White Space (AWS)—the space between individual logo design elements—as a stylistic modification that revamps a logo design yet preserves its extant associations. Across three studies, we find AWS to be an effective stylistic logo tool. In Study 1, we find that adding AWS to pictorial logos improves their visual evaluation. In Study 2, we find this positive evaluation to spillover to verbal brand aspects such that logo designs with AWS are perceived to communicate brand descriptions more clearly. In Study 3, we find that logo designs with AWS benefit sophisticated brand personalities the most, followed by sincere, exciting, and competent brand personalities, with no effect on rugged brand personalities.


Copyright 2018 Taylor & Francis for American Academy of Advertising

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Advertising in June 2018, available online:

The author post-print has been archived here with permission from the copyright holder.

Publication Title

Journal of Advertising

Published Citation

Sharma, Nazuk, and Sajeev Varki. "Active White Space (AWS) in Logo Designs: Effects on Logo Evaluations and Brand Communication." Journal of Advertising 47, no.3 (2018): 1-12.



Peer Reviewed