An Introduction to the Art of Scrapbooking (cont.)
STEP 7: BALANCE Use the basic principles of graphic design to ensure that your layout is in balance and visually pleasing. I will get into more detail of these basic principles at a later time, but most importantly, just step back before you proceed to step 8 and glue everything down, take a good long final look at your layout. Do you find the layout pleasing to look at? Do your eyes flow across the page easily? Does your layout successfully tell the story of your photos? The following tips will help you achieve balance on your pages. Once you are satisfied with your design, move on to STEP 8: ADHERE.
There is a nice balance to the layout below. The eye moves comfortably across the double page spread and the story I am telling is clear to the viewer: "Take time to explore our vast world through the eyes of a small child". The title, embellishments and journaling are all used effectively to support the photos, and the layout is enhanced by the effective use of lines, mass, shapes, texture, and color. The result: BALANCE.
The five elements of design that govern most everything in the field of publishing and apply well to Scrapbooking are:
- Lines: Lines may be used to keep photos, embellishments, journaling, and other components organized on a page. They can be used to enhance or emphasize the story that is being told.
- Mass: Each photo or journaling block or other element has its own physical mass. In the design world, mass essentially means size, and every item that you add to your page has its own relativity to the whole piece as well as a relationship to all the other components of your layout. Often, this is the element that most likely will make or break a successful design. Take care to give more mass to photos that you wish to emphasize and less to secondary items.
- Shapes: There are 3 basic types of shapes – geometric, natural and abstract. Shapes may be used in any number of ways on a layout, and because of it’s strong attraction to the eye, bold shapes are often best reserved for emphasis. Sometimes a repetition of shapes can be used successfully to move the eye along the layout.
- Texture: Texture has become a very important element in modern Scrapbooking, since 3-D components and textiles have become popular additions. Textured paper and embellishments such as ribbon and fibers – buttons and metal brads – can add great interest and whimsy to your pages.
- Color: While not essential to a good design (many heritage layouts are beautifully scrapped in black & white or shades of browns), color has the power to evoke emotion and to make a powerful statement. The values of the colors you choose are as important as the colors themselves. Some designs work best when soft, lighter hues are used, and others require the strength of a darker or more vibrant hue.
STEP 8: ADHERE Adhere the elements onto your page in layers with adhesive. I will address the issue of adhesives in future posts. One would think that gluing items onto pages would not require tutelage, but there are so many types of adhesives on the market that it can be quite intimidating for beginners. I prefer a tape roller above all others and use glue dots when a more aggressive adhesive is required, but often recommend inexpensive glue sticks to novices. Just make sure that whatever you choose is acid-free and photo safe.
STEP 9: PROTECT Place in acid-free page protectors and into your photo album.
This post concludes my SCRAPBOOKING 101 series, but I will be getting into more detail of many of these steps in future posts. Most importantly, remember that these bits of advice are merely tips for those of you who are having trouble getting started or would like to perfect your design skills - they are not RULES! Scrapbooking enthusiasts often laugh as they exclaim: "There are no rules in scrapbooking!"