Basic Design Principles – A New Series


Rachael has been a member of The Daily Digi Artists since the team started almost a year ago. She has been a wonderful asset to our team and I was very excited that she wanted to share these design tips, as they apply to scrapbooking with all of us! How to design better layouts is one thing you have said you wanted to know more about, so watch for these posts every month toward the end of the month!


Hi everyone! I (Rachael) am excited to be posting here at The Daily Digi for the very first time! This post marks the first in a series of monthly posts that will focus on basic design principles!

I recently earned my degree in Graphic Design. As I sat through the design courses, I often found myself studying how the design principles apply to scrapbooking. Many of these concepts are things scrapbookers do as second nature, without any conscious thought. I believe that, by nature, we are intuitive to what “looks good”. There are times, though, where we struggle to find the right look. We aren’t pleased with the way the page is turning out, but we might not know why. A quick look through the basic design principles can identify the problem.

Once you know and understand the six basic design principles, you can use them to strengthen your scrapbook pages. These principles are not meant to replace your personal creativity or stifle you, but rather give you a strong foundation on which to build your pages! Think of the principles as the architecture of your house and yourself as the interior designer!


During the next 6 weeks, we will study the concept of ECBARF and cover each of the 6 principles in more depth.

Emphasis: The most important element on the page should be the most prominent and the second most important should be the next in line. In this post we will talk about what the most important elements on our pages are. Is it our title? Our photos? Our journaling? How do we decide? We will answer these questions and find out how to communicate the importance of those elements through visual design.

Contrast: The principle of contrast states that elements on a page should look distinctly different from one another. Contrast is used to add visual interest to your layouts and to keep everything on the page from looking alike. In this post, we will take a look at various ways to create contrast within your layout. Color choices, shapes and size are just a few of the things that can be used to create contrast.

Balance: Balance is the distribution of the visual weight of elements on a page in order to achieve a pleasing and clear layout. This post will focus on how the placement of photos, elements and journaling can be used to create balance and harmony within your layout.

Alignment: Alignment is the connection among journaling, photographs and elements on a page when their edges line up with each other. This post will feature how alignment affects your layout. Just as alignment can create continuity, a choice to take things out of alignment can create discord. Depending on your goal for the layout, this might be just the look you want to achieve!

Repetition: This principle states that repeating lines, shapes, images, colors, textures and other visual elements within a layout helps establish a unified, cohesive layout. In this post, we will look at ways to create a cohesive look in your layouts through the use of repetition, without being monotonous. Using items similar in color, shape or pattern, your layout will have a unified look.

Flow: Flow is the visual path of movement in which the reader’s eye tracks though a page or pages. This post will focus on your layout as one united piece. Falling back on the concepts that closely relate, we will see how the finished layout comes together to create flow.

If you are an info. junkie like me, you might want to do a little further reading before we get started in February: (This article is written for web design, but much of the information shared applies to us scrappers, too!)

Desktop Pub


Design Library


P.S. Congratulations to hesmema who won today’s GIFTaway!! She was randomly selected from those that commented in Katie’s post from yesterday about her awesome parents! She won a $10 GC to Traci Reed! Check back tomorrow to see who will win!