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Tip 2: Support (Don’t Upstage) Your Subject

Be careful with adding too much color to backgrounds and props when you have a colorful moving subject. Moving subjects are your stars and need space to breathe—they should be supported by their surrounding colors, not upstaged.

One way to please your attention-craving star is by designating an open area around it. This area is called a white space (though it’s not necessarily white). Your subject will thank you for the wide-open stage where they can best be seen, and even if your audience’s eye does wander, it will be thankful for a little rest in your white space.

Another way to limit the visual competition around your subject is by using high-contrast or complementary colors. This will help to solidify figure/ground relationships around your subject and will make your subject pop. High contrast is especially important for kinetic type, logos, and broadcast graphics, since words take more time to comprehend than singular objects and therefore require clear figure ground relationships.


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Kim Dulaney, Eno. Lead art direction and design. Directed by Lauren Indovina. Produced at Psyop (above and opposite page)

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