Designing Your Memories -Texture

Do you have a desire to create a better designed scrapbook page?  The Daily Digi is a great resource to help you achieve your goal.  Many design principles & elements have already been explained including:



White Space







Today I would like to add to this awesome arsenal of info by talking about texture, a design element.

All surfaces have texture – from the smoothest mirror to the roughest rock.  “Texture is defined as the surface characteristics of a material that can be experienced through the sense of touch or the illusion of touch.” – Visual Literacy.   As digi scrappers, we work with visual texture, or the illusion of a surface’s texture.  Our work can’t be physically felt, but we can give the impression of texture.  Using a variety of textures on our digital layouts, such as rough cardboard, smooth buttons, or fabric flowers, will enhance our digi layouts by bringing a tactile element to our pages.  Here are a few examples (all layout are linked):

This beautiful layout by amandaresende has a variety of textures that add interest to her layout.  She repeats the lavender color by using yarn, a flower, and a dragonfly sticker – all of which have different textures:

tettletop20 did a great job adding a texture to her layout.  The bumpy background paper coupled with the gingham ribbon and smooth buttons make this layout interesting and fun to look at:

Not only do I love the color choices jendavey picked for this layout, I also love the variety of textures she put on her layout.  The rusted metal key, the flowers with a variety of textures, and the rhinestone jewel all support the design of this layout without stealing the show:

Even clean designs with few elements, like this one by timounette, can be full of texture.  Timounette’s  stitching, glitter, and ribbon are not only great repetitions of the color red, they are also differing textures that nicely contrast the smooth background paper.

Here is another clean layout that still has a variety of texture.  This adorable layout by clarabear was creatively assembled using lightly textured paper, crinkled tape, a smooth floral sticker, and bumpy stitching.

There are a few points to remember when adding texture to a layout:

1. Make sure the texture supports the message of the layout.  If your layout is about an elegant wedding moment, crinkled masking tape is probably not the way to go!

2. Use contrasting textures to make things pop.  A smooth epoxy element coupled with a fuzzy felt item will add interest and dimension to your layout.

3.  When using print over an uneven surface, taking the time to make the font follow the background texture will add to the feel of your layout.  HERE is a tutorial by Suzy that can help you achieve this realistic look.

4.  There is no denying that the layout examples in this blog post are full of fabulous drop shadows.  I realize that the subject of drop shadowing is a controversial one in the digi world, but I believe that adding a realistic drop shadow to an element adds to the layout’s texture.  Go HERE if you would like to learn more about drop shadows.

5.  Texture is meant to be a supporting role, not the star of the show.

When creating your next digital layout, why not consider adding a variety of textures to your masterpiece?

Please stop by MY BLOG today for a free fully-loaded template (template/quickpage combo) that is bursting with fabulous textures!

Designing Your Memories: Font Dos & Don’ts

I love that The Daily Digi is an excellent reference tool when wondering about anything digi related!  While preparing for this blog post, I searched The Daily Digi site to see what had been written about fonts and text already.  You can go HERE to learn more about:

  • Font size
  • Text Tricks
  • Good Journaling Fonts
  • Fonts Don’t Float – How to get your font to follow the background texture
  • Fonts for Titles – this includes over 25 links to fabulous fonts!
  • How to turn handwriting into a font
  • Font Organization

Today I want to add to this great reference tool by talking about the do’s and don’ts when using fonts in a layout.  I realize that digital layouts are priceless & personal works of art, but applying some basic design principles, like effective font use,  can take great layouts to the next level!

Before diving into the do’s and don’ts of font use, let’s first take a quick look at the different font families.  I am overwhelmed at the number of categories and sub-categories that are out there regarding fonts!  I found that THIS site and THIS site do a great job of explaining the some of the basics.  Here is a quick snapshot of the font categories we scrapbookers normally use:


As you can see from the above image, some fonts are easier to read than others, and some fonts can evoke a feeling or memory.

Let’s examine  a few do’s and don’ts when using fonts (all layouts are linked):

1.  DO use a font to help support the mood of your layout.

Scrapper chose a fun (display/novelty)font to support the playful feeling of her layout:

DO NOT use display/novelty fonts for journaling. Scrapist’s font choice for her title is fabulous for a title-work, but it would be too bulky for journaling.  Most display/novelty fonts are not good for journaling.

2.  DO creatively combine fonts families in a harmonious way.

I love the way Gilmoregirl uses a script font to emphasize the word “Sunshine” in her title work!  Pairing fonts from different font families (script and sans serif in this case) is a simple way to emphasize an important point.  She also uses the same Sans Serif font for her journaling which is very easy on the reader’s eye.

DO NOT use a ton of fonts on one page, unless you are creating a ransom note of course! In my opinion, less is more!  Gilmoregirl kept her layout looking fantastic by using only 2 fonts on her page.

3. DO consider using one font to create contrast in title work.

Posiegirl used one font for this entire layout!  She used varying sizes of one font to emphasize and create a pleasant contrast.  Consider using one font and create contrast by increasing the size, bolding, or italicizing various words.  This is a great example of less is more.

DO NOT combine fonts from the same families (ex: do not combine 2 san serif fonts) when trying to create contrast in a title. Generally, there is not enough difference between two related fonts to create an effective contrast.

4. DO place your font on background that keeps the font legible.

I love the way Oaklanefarm makes her journaling easy to read by putting a pink background under her font.  What a wise choice!  She still gets to use her fun dot-patterned paper, but could you imagine how hard it would be to read if the the journaling was on that dotted pattern?

DO NOT, under (most) any circumstances, put journaling on a patterned paper please! Your readers will thank you.

5.  DO creatively use fonts as an added design element. Handmadebyamy’s adorable layout is a great example of how to combine the title and the journaling in an artistic way.

DO NOT think these font do’s and don’t are rules that HAVE to be followed. Instead, consider the reasoning behind them so that you can wisely and creatively break them!

Do you have an artistic font technique?  Please share it with us in the comments section of this blog post!

Have you seen a font that you like, but you don’t know it’s name?  Go HERE for help.

Please stop by MY BLOG for a free template that emphasizes creative font use!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

P.S. Juno was the random winner chosen from the comments in yesterday’s post.  She won $10 in product from 9th & Bloom!  Check your email Juno!

Designing Your Memories & White Space

If you were cruising down the street, and saw this sign (above), would it grab your attention or peak your curiosity?    Maybe you would slow down to look around for a new building that accompanies this new sign, or wonder what store just went out of business?  In today’s world, we are constantly being bombarded by visual design: magazines, streets lined with billboards, websites filled with ads in the margin.  Seeing a blank sign like this would be different.   My overstimulated brain longs for something different.  Something that doesn’t crowd me or scream for my attention.  I long for less.  I long for white space! While we can’t always control the amount of white space in our everyday lives, we can control the white space on our scrapbook pages!

White space, also referred to as negative space, is “that portion of a page left unmarked: the space between graphics, margins, gutters, space between columns, space between lines of type..”  –Wikipedia White space gives a design room to breathe, and it gives the viewer’s eye a chance to rest.  Adding white space to a layout makes a page less cramped, overwhelming or chaotic.  Effective use of white space can transform well designed layouts into fabulous works of art!

Does white space have to be white?  Nope.   In a nutshell, white space is void of photos and journaling.  So technically, a block of patterned paper is consider white space!

Let’s take a took at a few digital layouts that effectively use white space.

(All layouts are linked.)

Jasy1983’s fabulous layout is full of white space….that is actually white!  The white paper surrounding the design provides a space for our eyes to rest while showcasing the focal point: the adorable snow beauty photos:

Here is a layout that I made.  Even though the background paper is red, this area of the layout is still considered white space.  Remember, it doesn’t have to be white or a solid color to be considered white space.

kfite7’s layout is full of fun photos.  She wisely framed her layout with blue paper which serves as white space and gives her layout a common margin.  Her effective use of white space (even between her photos), along with a fabulous color chord choice, makes this layout pleasing to the viewer’s eye.

Nietis’s adorable layout is full of life and embellishments, but it’s not overwhelming!  Why?  The patterned paper on the left, along with the yellow/tan background paper, gives the viewer’s eye a resting place.  Nietis also does a great job of repeating colors and shapes.  You can read more about repetition HERE.

nana z’s simply designed layout speaks volumes!  I love how she divided her page into thirds – 1/3 is paper while 2/3 is photo.  Her effective use of white space (charcoal colored paper) along with her fabulous photo and thoughtful Bible verse, make this layout superb!

Now, there is one rule to follow when using white space in your layout: do not trap the white space!    Trapped white space is an area that is boxed in, or has no direct route out to the edge of the page.  Great memories + trapped white space = a hot mess!

Here is a layout that I made years ago when I first started scrapping.  I circled in pink the areas of trapped white space.  Don’t laugh.

I did a great job having common margins around my layout.  I thought I was rockin’ the layout by using the light grid brush to form a visual triangle.  But I failed miserably when I trapped some white space not once, but twice!   There might even be a third space (far left above the family photo) that could be considered trapped white space!   I could have easily avoided this mistake be either adding a little embellishment or brush work to these areas, or I could have moved the photos a bit to eliminate the space all together.  Ah, live and learn!

Be mindful of trapped white space in text too:

Thoughtful use of white space keeps a layout looking organized and helps to highlight the focal point of the entire page.  Do you have a page that effectively uses white space?  Link us up in the comments section of this blog post.   I would love to see your work!

Stop by My Blog today for a free template that emphasizes white space.

There are more awesome design tips right HERE at The Daily Digi!

P.S. SharonS is the random winner chosen from yesterday’s feature on Scooty’s Designs.  She won $10 in product from Scooty’s designs, congratulations!

Designing Your Memories: Balance

I would like to welcome our newest team member, Joey Manwarren, who will be doing a monthly post all about Layout Design (designing our memories, as she calls it).  She really knows design, but also how to apply it in scrapbooking!  You can catch her on her blog or on Twitter. We are so excited to have her and know you will enjoy her posts!


Have you ever looked at a scrapbook page and thought, “WOW!  I love this page!  I have to put this in my faves file!”?  Have you ever looked at a page and thought, “Yikes, this needs some help!”?  Chances are, one of main the reasons you strongly like or dislike a page is because of the design principles the creator used while building the page.

I started paper scrapping over 10 years ago and quit after a few years.  My pages were always visually horrible, and I never understood why! (Plus there was no undo button!)  I didn’t have any training or knowledge about design – I didn’t even know that design principals & elements existed!   Even when I started digi scrapping a few years ago, my pages were still a hot mess, but at least there was an undo button and an internet community to learn from!   I discovered that many of my internet scrapping heroes were following some basic design principals when creating their pages, and I wanted in on that action!   Over the course of a year, I slowly began applying some basic design principles to my pages, and my layouts went from a hot mess to visually appealing!

It’s important to note that there are ELEMENTS of design and PRINCIPLES of design.  HERE and HERE are sites to understand what ideas are on each list.  Today we are going to talk about symmetrical BALANCE which is a design PRINCIPLE.  Balance, one of the most fundamental principles of design, can be either symmetrical or asymmetrical.  Symmetrical balance is an even distribution of visual weight on either side of an axis.  If we were to divide a layout in half, either horizontally or vertically, there should be the same amount of “stuff”  or visual weight on each side to be symmetrically balanced.

Here is symmetrically balanced layout that I made & divided it down the middle with a red line.  The visual weight is equal on both sides even though I used different sized pieces to fill the space.  The large photo on the left takes up the same amount of space as two columns of paper on the right.  (all images are linked to galleries):

Here is one example by Kellie:

If we were to split Kellie’s layout down the middle vertically, we would find the same amount of visual weight on one side as we do the other.  Kellie does a great job of mixing paper, photos, and journaling while still maintaining a great symmetrical balance.

Snowlady9900 also does a great job of having a symmetrically balanced layout.  If we divide her layout vertically down the middle, we would find the same amount of visual weight on both sides of the layout:

Here is a layout by KimJ that perfectly demonstrates symmetrical balance when dividing a layout horizontally:

The space occupied on the top of her layout is equal to the space occupied on the bottom of her layout.  Her right and left sides are balanced too!

Zanyzookeeper’s layout is symmetrically balanced when divided horizontally too.  The 4 top photos mirror the 4 bottom photos while the top journaling mirrors the bottom title:

Symmetrically balanced layouts tend to be more formal and orderly, and they convey a sense of familiarity.  Why not try a symmetrically balanced layout today?!

Wanting to learn more about design right now?  HERE are some awesome design tips, or head over to MY BLOG for some more easy to follow design pointers!

Next time we will be talking about asymmetrical balance.  Until then, happy scrapping!

Joey PS  Debbie Hodge with Get it Scrapped has a fabulous free 12 lesson class on page design.  Check it out HERE!  It’s packed with info on taking your pages from a hot mess to fabulous!

P.S.S. Corinne was the random winner in the drawing from yesterday’s post.  She won $10 in product from Crystal Livesay!  THANKS everyone who participated!!