digishow and past sponsors
- A Gift For You
- A Note From Me
- Art Journaling
- Check it Out!
- Computer & Tech Tips and Tricks
- Contributor Feature
- Digital Scrapbooking Tutorials
- Funtastic Friday
- Hybrid Help
- Journaling Design
- Just for Beginners
- Layout Design
- Monthly Artists
- More With Four
- Photo Editing
- Photography Class
- Prompts and Journaling Topics
- SCHOOL of SCRAPPING
- Team Inspiration
- The Digi Files
- Topics to Scrap
- Truly Inspirational
- Using Specific Supplies
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- February 2010
- January 2010
- December 2009
- November 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009
- August 2009
- July 2009
- June 2009
- May 2009
- April 2009
- March 2009
- February 2009
- January 2009
Tag Archives: design
When it comes to design, three is definitely a magic number. There is something aesthetically pleasing in a grouping of three, and you will find examples of this repeatedly in great art, design, and photography.
The Rule of Thirds
Great composition in art and photography starts with the rule of thirds. Using imaginary lines, the image is divided into thirds both horizontally and vertically. The image becomes more powerful when important elements of your composition are placed where these lines intersect.
You’ll find the rule of thirds at work in great pieces of art as well. The The Cliffs at Etretat by Claude Monet is a great example of this composition based on the rule of thirds.
We have several posts here at The Daily Digi to illustrate and explain how to use this rule to improve your photography and layout design.
- Even if you didn’t like fractions – the rule of thirds
- A guide to digital photo cropping
- I need my space
In love, two’s company and three’s a crowd, but that’s not true in design. The human eye loves groupings of odd numbers, especially in threes. (All images are linked for credits)
3 photos to illustrate the story
Three Times the Charm
A repetition of three is another hallmark of good design principles.Using the same photo three times is a great way to use emphasis to call attention to the subject.
Repetition is a fabulous design tool to make your layouts stand out. Try using the same embellishment three times for a unified look. This also works well with similar elements such as hearts, flowers, stars, etc. in different colors.
Clustering works best with odd numbers of embellishments and groups of three are especially nice. I love to put together three flowers in a cluster. A set of three word strips together is a great way to tell the story.
Repeating groups of three in a mosaic or collage makes for an eye-pleasing arrangement.
Can you see the magic of three? Next time you sit down to create a layout, think about the number 3 and let it guide you to a well-designed work of art. Oh, and if you’re like me, you now have this song going through your head!
P.S. The title graphic was made with Jady Day Studios’ A Wizarding World kit and the lobster font.
When it comes time to choose the colors you want to include on a layout, there are many different approaches a digital scrapbooker can take. Of course, anything goes with a black & white photo, so some scrappers love to make their color choices easier by keeping the photo color neutral. Some scrappers don’t worry as much about color and just use the supplies they want to use with the story they want to tell.
I (Katie) can’t help but think of color choices every time I create a page. I love color! It’s a big part of the page design for me and one of the most deciding factors when I am selecting supplies for a layout.
My approach to selecting colors for a layout almost always starts with the photo(s) I want to use. I love to emphasize or complement the colors in my photos with the digital papers and embellishments I use on a layout. When I looked at this group of pictures I wanted to scrap, the predominant color that stood out to me was brown. Brown on my daughter’s shirt, brown rocks, brown garden bed, brown chocolate, and brown graham crackers.
I knew I wanted to emphasize the theme of s’mores and the fire, so I looked for a camping kit in my folders of digi supplies. When I saw this kit, I liked the variety of browns included. I knew I would find some brown to scrap with. I also noticed the greens in the kit and as I looked at my photos again, I saw that there were hints of green in our garden and on my son’s shirt. I could have picked up on the colors of the starburst candies to use, but those didn’t feel very “outdoorsy” to me. Green felt like a good color choice to go with all of that brown.
I started off with the embellishments I wanted to use and paired them with the photos. I decided that using brown as the background would make my layout too monotone. I decided to use a large amount of green to complement my photos and the brown embellishments.
I like to focus on using 1 or 2 predominant colors on a layout. Sometimes I will add a small accent color or two – in this case, the orange of the fire and the colors of the candies add a little “pop” to the page.
My color selection process almost always follows this same pattern. I work from my photos and pull out the colors I want to feature and then find the supplies to complete the layout. I thought it would be fun to show you a different approach though. There is no “right” or “wrong way” to select colors for a layout, and there are many great tools to use to make it easier.
I asked Anna Aspnes to share her method for selecting colors for a layout. Anna is such a creative inspiration to me and I love reading her blog and chatting with her when she’s a guest on The Digi Show.
I typically begin a layout with a neutral background and I tend to prefer light colors such as white, tan or gray. I favor textures over bold patterns in selecting backgrounds for my pages because they provide a great canvas for blending one or more images. In this layout, I applied 2 different blending modes to two copies of the same image, and then blended the edges using brushes from ArtPlay Palette Saffron Villa.
The color picker is used to sample brighter colors in my images and these are used to recolor select letters and words in my WordArt title. Letter and word selections are made using the appropriate Marquee tools from the Tools palette. The “pops” of color brightens the design and draw the eye to the focal words in the title.
Brushwork was added on 2 new layers in colors sampled from the same blended images which determined the Foreground color in the Tools palette. I used a dark blue color sampled from Luke’s shirt, and a gray from the artsy flower overlay, added to the page earlier in the creation process.
One dimensional crochet heart from ArtPlay Palette WordPlay was added to the layout. I usual tweak the color of embellishments to co-ordinate with the colors on a layout rather than completely re-coloring or selecting a perfectly coordinated element. Notice that the crochet heart has been resized and positioned to create a pleasing visual triangle with the other two red/orange elements on the page.
Additional neutral elements such as the painted overlays and tape complete the page and add increased visual interest without detracting from the focal points denoted through the use of bright color. The journaling is added in a black simple serif font. I also always recolor the date in red or similar color to ensure that it is visible and stands-outs from the rest of my text.
Isn’t it fun to see Anna’s approach to color? I love the way she used the red to make her page so visually stunning! Color is a wonderful way to add style, emotion, and design to any page. Here are a few more posts about color that are worth checking out:
- Designing your memories & communicating with color by Joey
- Color popping against achromatics by Steph
- 5 questions to ask when selecting color on Get it Scrapped
What’s your process for selecting color for your pages? Do you use the same method every time, or do you vary your approach? Next time you sit down to create a layout, take a minute to think about color and the role it plays in your scrapping.
I have always been a fan of layouts that use colors against a black, white, and sometimes even gray canvas. The colors have always appeared more bold, more vivid. I decided to do a little research and found what could be some science behind my correct perceptions.
Achromatic colors are those that are unsaturated. Pure achromatic colors are black, white, and true shades of gray. Wikipedia says:
Black and white have long been known to combine well with almost any other colors; black increases the apparent saturation or brightness of colors paired with it, and white shows off all hues to equal effect.
Let’s take a look at some examples of one of my favorite design tricks…
I love how the journaling and title become the focal point of this layout through placement and also the color that helps frame them:
I love how bright and bold these papers and elements look against the dark gray background. Even though the photos are black and white, they still stand out in the colors:
The pinks, greens, and blues appear even more saturated against the white background paper. The drop shadows also give the appearance that the flowers are growing right out of the frame and the butterflies just flew away:
The biggest contrast between two colors is that of black against white. With the juxtaposition of the colored elements around the photo, against the black and white, our eye is naturally drawn to the photo:
Vibrant floral photos against a black background is one of my favorite layouts to create. It just makes the flowers pop right off the page:
I love how the blue and red pop against the gray in this layout by Tara. The lighter journaling adds a nice contrast too:
The colors just jump off the page in this layout with a white background. Add to it that the subject matter is Disney and it makes my heart go pitter-pat:
I love the mood that is achieved in this layout with the contrast of black and white. With the only color being in the photo, we are immediately drawn to the look on the little boys face that says he is indeed a “Force to be Reckoned With”:
I love how the lego sailor is the focus of this layout and how bright that yellow becomes against the black background. Katrina’s photos are simply stunning and the journaling is such a sweet story too:
The white journaling is a great contrast to the black background in Katie’s layout. The background also makes the flowers pop off the page with brightness:
When I am having a hard time figuring out what color of background to use, I often reach for a black or white paper because I know the colors will always look great!
For more than 2 years now, we’ve been teaching our readers about the six basic design principles, how to use them to strengthen your scrapbook pages. We’ve gone through each of the letters in the acronym ECBARF which stands for: emphasis, contrast, balance, alignment, repetition, and flow. 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.
It’s one thing to read about the basic principles of design, but the best way to really learn how to use them is to put these ideas into action! If you really want to grow your digi skills, I would encourage you to take the challenge of creating a layout to practice each of the six basic design principles. You will be amazed at how much you learn! Here’s a list to work from:
- EMPHASIS: The most important element on the page should be the most prominent and the second most important should be the next in line. Emphasis or dominance of an object can be increased by making the object larger, more sophisticated, more ornate, by placing it in the foreground, or have it standout visually more than other objects in a project. Learn more about emphasis by reading this previous post : Emphasis by Debbie Hodge
By enlarging the title on this layout, I made it the emphasis of the page. The word “LOVE” is especially dominant and goes with the theme in the photo of expressing love.
Layout by Katie. Word art by Kitty Designs. Celebrate kit by Connie Prince.
- CONTRAST is the occurrence of contrasting elements, such as color, value, size, etc. It creates interest and pulls the attention toward the focal point. Contrast is used to add visual interest to your layouts and to keep everything on the page from looking alike. Color choices, shapes and size are just a few of the things that can be used to create contrast. To learn more about contrast, refer to this post by Debbie Hodge.
Black and white are the ultimate pair for contrasting, that’s why black and white photos are so stunning. The black circle and title really pop visually against the muted gray and white tones. Adding another bright color such as the bits of yellow add a fun contrast and calls attention to the title work on the page.
Layout by Katie. Page map by Becky Fleck. Hazel Olive Be Yourself, Joyce Paul Curiosity and Lemonade Cocktail
- BALANCE is the distribution of the visual weight of elements on a page in order to achieve a pleasing and clear layout. Balance can be either symmetrical or asymmetrical depending on if the right or left side is identical or not. Also refers to a sense that dominant focal points are balanced and don’t give a feeling of being pulled too much to any part of the artwork. For more information about all types of balance read Balance with Debbie Hodge , Balance by Joey Manwarren, and Balance part 2 by Joey.
Layout by Katie. Template by Debbie Hodge. Word art by Ali Edwards. Katie Pertiet Krafty Paper. Century Gothic Font.
ALIGNMENT: Alignment is the connection among journaling, photographs and elements on a page when their edges line up with each other. 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! For more ideas and information, be sure to read this alignment post from Debbie Hodge and this alignment tutorial by Katie.
Layout by Katie. Kitty Designs Templates, Cinnamon Designs Cardstock,Jofia Devoe Candy Beach kit (NLA), Franklin Gothic font
- REPETITION: This principle states that repeating lines, shapes, images, colors, textures and other visual elements within a layout helps establish a unified, cohesive layout. Using items similar in color, shape or pattern, your layout will have a unified look. Read more in this post about repetition by Debbie Hodge. The repetition of shapes, colors, word art, fonts, and photo size gives this layout a finished look and makes it easy to follow along with the story.
Layout by Katie. Pixel Gypsy Technogirl (the Digi Files #29 May 2011), Template by Janet Phillips, The Architect font by Heather Hess
- FLOW is the visual path of movement in which the reader’s eye tracks though a page or pages. Read more about flow from Debbie Hodge in this post. The feeling that papers, embellishments, and photos all belong together on a page have a lot to do with the flow of the design. Is it easy for your eye to visit the important parts of a page? Are the ingredients cohesive? The flow of this layout is based a lot on using coordinated products and strategic placement to keep the eye moving through the page.
Layout by Katie. Shabby Princess Easy As Pie Template – 12, Shabby Princess Clementine, Traveling Typewriter font
I encourage you to look through your layouts and pick a page that would illustrate each of the six design principles. If you can’t find any, it’s the perfect excuse to do some digi scrapping! You will learn a a lot about what makes layout really great!
What kinds of balancing acts are you taking on today? Is it getting enough exercise to feel good about that big ice cream cone you had last night? Maybe it has to do with saving and spending money. Perhaps you’re getting up a little earlier so that you’ll be done with work in time to spend time with family or friends. Balance is about mixing and matching, giving and taking. It’s about placing two small stones on one side of the scale to balance the single large stone.
When the different parts of your life are in balance with one another, you can move through your days more comfortably and happily. When the parts of a scrapbook page are in balance with one another, you’ve got a page that’s pleasing to look at and that tells your story well.
ABOUT BALANCE ON SCRAPBOOK PAGES
We’re accustomed to experiencing physical balance in our lives. We know that if all the kids sit at one end of a narrow bench, it’s going to tip, whereas distributing the weight more equally means everything will be stable. Achieving balance on a scrapbook page isn’t quite as clear cut: there isn’t any actual physical weight to work with. Instead it’s about creating an illusion of balance. While you might not always be sure that you’ve achieved visual balance, what you can be sure about is when you have NOT achieved visual balance. You can sense it. Refining this ability to “see” visual weights and how they play off one another will help you design well-balanced pages.
Read on for a refresher course in simple machines and then come on back to look at “Today” by digigrandma. You should be able to identify just what it is that gives this page–with its atypical design–such awesome balance and interest. When you revisit it, challenge yourself to find the axis or fulcrum for balance and to identify the sources of weight for the individual elements.
Layout by digigrandma from DesignerDigitals gallery.
PHYSICS AND THE SIMPLE MACHINE
There’s a formula you might have learned about in science class that uses weights and distances from a fulcrum for figuring out how to get balance. I’m going to simplify it with a couple of cats and a dog.
If two cats of the same weight were sitting on a board with a fulcrum smack dab in the middle, the board would balance.
However . . . if there were a dog a lot bigger than the cat on one side of the board, we’d need to move the dog closer to the fulcrum in order to get that board to balance. The point you should take from this is that balance takes into account a fulcrum (or in page design this sometimes becomes an axis) and weights. We’ll take a look at three fulcrum possibilities for scrapbook page design and then several ways that an element gains or loses weight.
THE FULCRUM (OR THE AXIS)
When you’re designing your scrapbook pages and thinking about balance there are three possible ways to incorporate a fulcrum or axis.
On “Happy Birthday To You” Ingridfasquelle has balanced her elements to the right and left of an axis that sits at horizontal center. The elements on each side have similar visual weights.
Layout by Ingridfasquelle from Digi Shop Talk Gallery
On “Adam & Heather,” kfite arranged her elements around a vertical axis. Take a look at the inset diagram to get a sense of how weight from top to bottom is arranged so that the piece looks “right.” It doesn’t look like it’s going to topple over from any imbalanced weight, and it’s fun to view.
Layout by kfite from The Daily Digi Flickr Group
You can balance around a center point by having your elements all radiate out from the center. When you implement this kind of balance, the viewer’s eye should always be coming back into the center–as it does on this page by VioliaMoni.
Layout by VioliaMoni from The Daily Digi Flickr Group
“Puppy Nap” by Anke also has a radial balance. While the elements aren’t necessarily radiating from the center, they are all circling around the focal photo and bringing the eye constantly back into the center
Layout by Anke from DesignerDigitals gallery.
Since balance requires equalizing weights around a fulcrum or axis, let’s talk about how you figure out the visual weight of page elements. This is something you’ll perceive, rather than something that can be calculated precisely. Here are some guidelines:
*Dark colors have more weight than lighter colors.
*Bright colors have more weight than neutrals—in fact some colors just are weightier than others. Red tends to be heavy, and yellow tends to be light.
*Warm colors tend to expand (and, thus, have more weight) than cooler colors.
*Regular (and known) shapes (rectangles, circles, triangles) are weightier than irregular shapes.
*Larger elements are heavier than smaller ones.
*Filled space has more weight than empty (or white) space.
*Elements on the right side of the layout have more weight than the very same elements on the left side.
*Elements at the top of your layout have more weight than the very same elements on the bottom.
*Elements surrounded (or isolated) by white space take on weight.
*Interesting elements (this could be due to many things including interesting texture, image, dimension, color, or shape) have more weight than less interesting elements.
KINDS OF BALANCE
When you have elements mirrored horizontally or vertically (or both) they are in symmetry. Symmetrical designs are familiar and good for evoking a formal, elegant, or tranquil tone. This kind of design is like putting the fulcrum right in the middle of your board and setting two equally-weighted cats on either side. Though, you really don’t have to have “perfect” symmetry. You could have a dog that’s about the same weight as the cat on one of the sides.
On this page by katiescrapbooklady, the elements are centered vertically and horizontally. While not exactly mirrored, the parts are, for the most part, symmetrically arranged. Look back at Ingridfasquelle’s “Happy Birthday” page above and note that it is a page with horizontally symmetrical design.
Layout by katiescrapbooklady from The Daily Digi Flickr Group.
Asymmetry in scrapbook page design means that none of your page elements are mirrored on the opposite side. There is no symmetry. That does not, however, mean there is no balance. Making a page with asymmetrical balance is more difficult than making a page with symmetrical balance. Why do it then? These pages often have more energy and are a delight to the viewer’s eye
Take a look at a couple of asymmetrical pages and notice the fulcrum/axis as well as the elements and their respective weights to see why these pages work.
The primary page grouping at top left on my page, “New Spot,” is balanced by a much smaller grouping at bottom right. The top grouping gets weight from its size, the interesting colors and patterns, and its placement higher up on the page. The bottom grouping gets weight from its placement to the right side of the layout and its isolation (i.e., the white space surrounding it).
Layout by Debbie Hodge from the DesignerDigitals gallery.
The vertical axis on Anke’s “Reading is One Big Adventure” sits to the left of center with a large and compelling focal grouping of books and images at bottom right. A bold oversized title takes on additional weight with its positioning and shots of red and, thus, balances the focal grouping well.
Layout by Anke from DesignerDigitals gallery.
For more information on asymmetrical designs check out Debbie’s article called “Scrapbook Page Design: Asymmetrical Balance.”
P.S. Congratulations to Juli who was the random winner from yesterday’s post featuring Liz! Here’s what she said: "LOVE all of her products!! I really love the background templates or the playing with opacity ones. thanks for the chance!" Juli, you won $10 in product from Scrapping with Liz, check your inbox!
P.S.S. Be sure to check out PaperClipping Roundtable episode #18! I was asked to join in the discussion again and it was super, super FUN!! I really love doing the show and am thrilled that I was asked to come back!
When one element is different from another, there is contrast. Including contrast on a layout creates emphasis. We talked about the benefits of emphasis in Basic Design: Emphasis a couple of weeks ago.
We all routinely scan our surroundings – even when we focus on a spot, we eventually change our field of vision. As we make this change, we do a quick scan of the environment. As we do this scan, we unconsciously look for elements that stand out—elements that contrast. Think of the hunting lion looking for that movement or bit color that identifies prey.
CONTRAST IN YOUR SCRAPBOOK PAGE DESIGN IS A GOOD THING
Contrast will draw the viewer’s eye into and through the page.
That first eye-grabbing item is the starting place for your viewer and your page’s focal point. Once a starting-place is found, you’ve established a hierarchy within your page – that is, the viewer unconsciously understands what’s next most important and then next after that. The result is a page that can be understood and viewed well.
Contrast adds visual interest.
While repetitions of color and image give a page unity, too much similarity becomes boring. Something needs to stand out. Be careful, though, not to add so much contrast that the page becomes confusing. Or, rather, be sure that all of the contrasts you include are in support of one another and exist in a hierarchy, themselves.
On my page “Challenges of Today” there are several contrasts, but the one that comes to the forefront is the image of the bull coming out of the top left corner. The top left corner of any page is a key location for any of us who read books starting in that spot and moving left to right and down the page. The bull is a compelling image, and it is sized large. Other contrasts include: the variety of fonts and sizes in the title; the juxtaposition of patterned paper next to solids; the landscape orientation of the focal point photo next to several portrait-oriented supporting photos; the larger size of the focal point photo as well as its rendering in color while the supporting photos have very little color.
“Challenges of Today” by Debbie Hodge
Supplies: MYO Frames, Stitched by Anna Brown No 2 by Anna Aspnes;Patterns Petite No 4, Farmer Joe Mini Kit by Lynn Grieveson; This is the Day Word Art by Ali Edwards. All from DesignerDigitals.com.
IDEAS FOR GETTING CONTRAST ON YOUR SCRAPBOOK PAGE
Contrast occurs when two elements are different. This next point is very important: the greater the difference the greater the contrast. If you’re going to include contrasts – be sure they’re obvious. If you’re going to do it – then REALLY do it.
The approaches for incorporating contrast are intertwined with those for emphasis, so refer back to Design Basics: Emphasis and check out the additional tips that follow.
Use different fonts, cases (upper or lower), colors, sizes, and materials for the words (titles, embellishments, journaling) on your page.
1)render a title in two parts that contrast
2)make your title type contrast with your journaling type
3)make selected words stand out from the rest of the journaling with type differences.
On “Escape Artist,” Amy Mallory has used a chunky, black alpha of chipboard for “escape,” and then a script font in white for “artist.” The two words differ in color, size, fonts, and texture/materials.
“Escape Artist” by mymallorboys
Supplies: Little Layette Kit, Graphed Paper Pack No. 02, Classic Embossed Grid no 2, Yarn Swirls No. 03: Neutrals, Ric Rac Basics no 1, Flossy Stitches: White, Date Spots, Chunky Chipboard Alphabet: Black No. 03, Jewelry Tag Alphabet, Spot Dot Brushes no 5 by Katie Pertiet; Stitched by Anna Borders No. 01, Stitched by Anna White No. 06 by Anna Aspnes;Painterly Backgrounds No. 01, Story HandDrawn Journal Blocks Brushes and Stamps by Ali Edwards Help Haiti Collaborative Collection; Worn Page Edges No. 02 by Lynn Grieveson. All from DesignerDigitals.com
Differences in size are a great way to incorporate contrast. Remember, though, that it’s not the large size that draws the eye, but, rather, the differences in size. An item that is proportionately smaller than everything else is just as eye-catching as one that is proportionately larger.
On “My Love,” Amy Kingsford has included a man-and-woman graphic that is by far the largest embellishment on the page. After the photo, it is the first thing my eye noticed. It not only adds pleasing visual interest, but its symbology–especially when accented with small hearts—supports her page meaning.
“My Love” by askings
Supplies: Basic Masks No 1, Cait Kit, Grid Brushes No 1, Paper Alphabet No 1 Green, Soft and Spunky Damask Papers No 2, Textured Solids No 2 by Erin Clayton; Happily Ever After by Aja Abney; Chocolate Minikit by Bohemian Art. All from ScrapArtist.com.
Contrast in color and/or value (lightness/darkness of a hue) is always a great way to make a photo, title, or grouping “pop” from the background. Remember: if you’re going to have contrasts, then they should be strong contrasts.
On “Rock Thrower,” Kellie placed a bright yellow mat on a deep blue background. Her photos sit on green mat and totally stand out because of these color contrasts as well as the generous white space. The entire grouping of photos, title, embellishments and journaling stand out.
“Rock Thrower” by kfite7
Supplies: Tom Foolery by Bella Gypsy & Amanda Heimann; Template by ChrissyW; Stitching by Mira Designs.
You can use differences in shape to get contrast. On “Year 2009,” Katie used a large black circle to back up a narrow rectangular strip of square photos and give her title a home. The whole piece sits upon a white square with a narrow mat. There’s no doubt of this black circle on a white background standing out.
“Year 2009” by katiescrapbooklady
Supplies: papers by Amanda Heimann; template by Emily Powers; stitching by Anna Aspnes.
P.S. Thanks to everyone who gave Cindy some love yesterday in the comments! Lynn was randomly selected as the winner in $10 of product from Cindy. Here’s what Lynn said about Cindy’s templates: “I love Cindy’s templates! Set 36 is my favorite; however, I already own that one. So, I’ll have to say Set 35. Thank you for the chance and the great coupon!”
I am really excited to bring back our Basic Design Principles series. Debbie Hodge will be going through each of the letters in the accronym ECBARF (can’t help but giggle). She is a great teacher and I am thrilled to have her here! Here’s a little more about her:
Debbie Hodge owns, teaches at, and writes for the website Get It Scrapped! She’s the author of the F+W book Get It Scrapped! and two e-books on digital scrapbooking: Embellishing with Alphas and Every Little Thing, both available at DesignerDigitals where she is a creative team member.
Why is emphasis on a scrapbook page important?
Incorporating a strong focal point that immediately draws the viewer’s eye is a good thing. If all of the elements on your page have the same weight or emphasis, everything takes on the same level of importance—and then the viewer has to find a way into your page on their own. When a viewer can easily identify a starting point, though, and thus understand where to look first and then next, you’ve established a hierarchy and you’re guiding your viewer through the page. This is a good thing because then the viewer is taking in your story as you want it to be understood.
On “Again” by Katie the hierarchy established by varying levels of emphasis is: 1) photo, 2) title, 3) journaling. The oversized photo immediately draws the eye and conveys the subject of the page: exercise (and probably health). The title further amplifies our understanding of the page subject. You read “Again” and understand that this is something she’s worked on more than once. At this point you’re totally primed to quickly settle into reading the journaling. It’s a page that is accessible and successful in conveying meaning and story.
Supplies: Photo from istock, Katie Pertiet Naturally Krafty Paper 03, Ali Edwards template No. 25 (modified), Impact and Century Gothic fonts
What can you emphasize on a scrapbook page?
Your decision about what to emphasize should take into account the story you want to tell, the message or meaning you want to convey, and what’s pleasing to the eye. It’s great when a page has charm–when it has some pizzazz—and your emphasized focal point can be that pizzazz.
emphasize a photo
Much of the time, your scrapbook pages will be inspired by and built around photos. On “A Boy and His Dirty Ball,” Amy M’s focal point is the larger photo. It’s an engaging shot that immediately draws the eye. It’s well supported by the three smaller photos which add context to the moment.
emphasize a title
On “I’m a City Girl,” Heidi2008 emphasized her page title over the photos and journaling. Rendering the title larger than the photos and in strong contrast to the background gives it priority. The specifics of these photos aren’t as important as the message. This isn’t a page about a particular city or a particular sight, it’s about a way of being, and giving the title top billing is a great way to make that point.
The key message on “Part of the Story” by Britgirl is that Melanie is constantly recording her daily life on scrapbook pages. The act of storytelling—of maintaining an ongoing narrative—is the point of this page, and, thus, it is fitting that the journaling is the strongest visual element. The blended self-portrait runs a close second with the small but clear title in third. The design is simple and strongly in support of the page’s meaning.
How can you add emphasis?
There are many ways to set one element apart from the others on a scrapbook page. Try one or more of the following.
Contrast is about differences: light against dark, small next to large, a portrait-oriented photo next to several landscape-oriented photos.
See the contrasts and subsequent focal point on “Love that Summer Feeling” by Dunia. The focal photo is a rectangle alongside many squares; it is the largest shape on the page; and it is colorful against a black-and-white backdrop.
Layout by Dunia, supplies: That Summer Feeling Kit by Gina Marie Huff, Give Me Simple Template by Vinnie Pearce
use isolation (i.e., white space)
The more an item is surrounded by white space (or is isolated from other elements), the more weight (and, thus, importance) it takes on. The journaling on “Part of the Story” shown above is set off and emphasized with white space.
An object placed in a “sweet spot,” on the page will take on importance. To find the four “sweet spots” on your page, divide it into thirds horizontally and vertically (as if drawing a tic-tac-toe board over it) and find the four spots where your dividing lines intersect.
See this principle applied to Amy M’s “A Boy and His Dirty Ball.” The four sweet spots are circled in green and the delightful face in the focal point photo sits smack-dab at a sweet spot.
establish and then break a pattern
When you have a series of elements that are sized and arranged in pattern, the element that breaks this pattern will stand out.
Anke used a grid of nine squares as the foundation for her page “Tie-dyed.” By breaking one photo out of the regular sizing and placement on this grid, she created a focal point photo of the finished egg in the center. This “break-out” is differentiated from the others with sizing, a tilted placement, and the addition of a ribbon.
It’s all about being different and catching the eye. Add a fancy frame, place embellishments at the corner, raise an element up, tilt it—just do something to give it emphasis the other elements do not have.
On my page, “If Your Friends Jumped Off a Bridge” the focal point is a photo that is not the largest or the smallest, but, rather, the one that’s framed and embellished. The photo at top left stands out because of its white frame and funky embellishing at top center. Its placement at a sweet spot on the page also adds to its importance in the viewer’s eye.
Take a look at the pages you’ve made. What have you emphasized and how does it work in support of page meaning and look? When you start your next page, set yourself a challenge to make a conscious decision about what to emphasize and then put some of these techniques to work.
P.S. The random winner from yesterday’s feature on Joyce, was Tamara who said: “I absolutely LOVE Mumbai Lullaby (and the add-on)! And Commitment and Serendipity are gorgeous too. Thanks!” Check your inbox!
I (Janet) am so glad that I get to come back and share with you all from time to time. THE DAILY DIGI is still a huge part of my heart and I am THRILLED to see all the amazing ways Steph is working to keep the site running and to improve it by leaps and bounds! I am also thankful that she wants me to show you some of the layouts that have inspired me lately. I love looking at all the amazing pages out there. Digital scrapbooking sure has evolved over the last five years since I started! Here are some layouts that have caught my eye recently (all images are linked to gallery and credits).
I adore this layout. The bright color up against a dark background just makes it pop! And what fantastic use of patterned paper! The design is well executed and totally eye pleasing.
This layout is another example of fabulous. The muted colors with the framing of red work together to draw you in to those sweet puppy dog eyes. And I love that there is a a good amount of journaling added into the layout.
The detail shots in this page are FABULOUS! I love the intimate look at the otherwise-overlooked part of the day. And she is totally right on — the little things in the every day are really what our life is made of.
Count ‘em…yep, SEVEN PHOTOS in this layout AND there is a ton of journaling. It gets two thumbs up from me!
Perfection in every way…light, delicate, dainty…just like the tea cup in the photo!
Even if you aren’t doing PROJECT 365 and taking a photo every day, it doesn’t mean you can’t recap your month! I also love that she was honest in her journaling…sometimes, we just have months we would rather not repeat!
This layout keeps bringing me back. I loved the tight cropped photos, the pop of red stitching against the blue, and the fabulous use of elements.
I immediately clicked on this layout when I saw it in the gallery because I knew it used Zoe Pearn’s new Alphabet Soup cards that I would love to plaster all over my girls room. I love how this layout uses the cards to describe the artist’s daughter. Fabulous!
Another fantastically designed layout! And I LOVE LOVE LOVE the interview with her child and the great colors and font changes to journal it.
And last but not least, this truly amazing in every way…great design, fantastic colors, awesome journaling, and incredible element use.
Thanks for letting me come back to TDD and let me share! I love this place!
P.S. TDD wouldn’t be the same without Janet popping in at least once in a while! We love her!
P.S.S The winner from Mari’s post yesterday is Elsina, who said: “Love her products. Right now I am doing a lot of P365 scraps, so I would love the Studio 365 February Grab Bag or the Remarks: The Collection journal bits. Thanks for the coupon!”
She is the winner of a $10 GC to Mari’s store! Congrat’s!!
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:
DigitalWeb.com (This article is written for web design, but much of the information shared applies to us scrappers, too!)
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!