Designing Your Memories – Balance Part 2 (a.k.a Taking Your Pages From Hot Mess to Fabulous)

Happy New Year! I hope you are doing well and keeping up with your New Year’s Resolution! My resolution is to simplify my life! I am cutting out the junk and keeping the pieces in life that are most important to me! My scrapbook style, which has changed some over time, is currently simple and clean too! No matter what style or scrapbooking phase I am in, I always try to apply a few design principles to keep my pages visually appealing.

My last post talked about a basic design principle: symmetrical balance. Today we are going to examine ASYMMETRICAL BALANCE. Simply put, asymmetrical design means that the top of a layout does NOT mirror the bottom, and the left does NOT match the right. Instead, there is an implied balance in the layout. By properly using different amounts of space and elements, asymmetrical designs feel balanced.

Asymmetrical layouts, while sometimes challenging to master, are full of energy and excitement! They create movement and convey emotions! To understand how to properly create an asymmetrical design, we must first understand the visual weight of page elements. Debbie Hodge wrote a fabulous Daily Digi post on balance that you can read HERE. She provided the following guidelines to help us better understand the visual weight of various page elements (I printed them off for reference!):

*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.

Let’s examine some layouts with asymmetrical design:

(all images are linked)

This layout (above) by Kellie is full of joy and life! She placed her large focal photo on the left along with the title, and balanced her layout on the right with a handful of smaller photos. The repetition of red helps to keep the layout unified.

I love this double page by Lukasin. The small square photos on top are balanced by the interesting bottom shapes.:

The following layout by Chasing Donguri is balanced because of the visual triangle created with the circles. While we don’t see the entire circle of dots, the implied circle keeps this layout balanced:

Talia’s adorable photo is balanced by the title and journaling. The common margins frame the entire page:

Here is a double page layout the I created for Creating Keepsakes. The journaling is balanced by the title while the floral elements create a visual triangle and keep the layout uniform:

As seen in the [Sept 2010] of Creating Keepsakes

(As seen in the [Sept 2010] of Creating Keepsakes magazine. Copyright Creative Crafts Group. Posted with prior permission from the publisher)

Wanting to learn more about design right now? HERE are some awesome design tips or 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!

Cathy Zielske’s Design Your Life is a fantastic class found at Big Picture Classes that is FULL of information on design!