A typeface is like a chair
A figure is an element or shape placed on a page, canvas, or other background. Ground is the space of the page.
A figure is also called object, form, element, or positive shape. Ground is alternately called space, residual space, white space, or field.
Figure-ground theory states that the space that results from placing figures should be considered as carefully as the figures themselves.
Space is called negative space if it is unshaped after the placement of figures. It is positive space if it has a shape.
When elements or spaces are not explicit but are nonetheless apparent—we can see them even though we can't see them—they are said to be implied.
Solid-void theory is the three-dimensional counterpart to figure-ground theory. It holds that the volumetric spaces shaped or implied by the placement of solid objects are as important as, or more important than, the objects themselves.
A three-dimensional space is considered a positive space if it has a defined shape and a sense of boundary or threshold between in and out. Positive spaces can be defined in an infinite number of ways by points, lines, planes, solid volumes, trees, building edges, columns, walls, sloped earth, and innumerable other elements.