Here are some helpful hints for organizing and designing a scrapbook pages.  These suggestions are not to be considered all inclusive, but simple helps.  Your own creative juices will guide you in the end.  These ideas are not presented in any order of priority.  We will direct you to some of our articles that go into more depth regarding a particular suggestion.

  • Select a Focal Point
  • Photographs should be arranged in a strategic manner to draw the viewer to the focus of  your page
  • Scrapbook pages should be designed around a visual triangle
  • Construct your page using the “Rule of Thirds”
  • Everything in its place–arrange items with thought and purpose–for continuity and relationship
  • Repetition is beneficial in the design helps provide unity of elements
  • Contrast can provide interest and focus
  • Embellishments should be consistent and coordinating
  • Eliminate white space and voids
  • Utilize the “odd number” element

Select a Focal Point.

As you begin the design and layout of your scrapbook page, the first thing you want to do is identify what your purpose is.  What is the pictorial story you want to convey.  What are the most important elements which would help you say what you want to say to the view of your page.  There is only ONE focal point per page, but you can have ancillary or secondary points–just limit them, or your page will loose its purpose with too much busyness.  See our article “Select a Focal Point” for more detailed information.

Photographs should be arranged in a strategic manner to draw the viewer to the focus of  your page.

Photographs are the spine of a scrapbook.  Scrapbook pages are crafted for photographs.  Each page is designed to tell or add to a picture story.  The alignment or arrangement of photos on a scrapbook page should be structured to focus on the theme of the page.  Pictures should be placed to draw attention and to provide a flow of the viewers eye from one picture to another to complete the story in a logical sequence.  See our article “Balancing Your Scrapbook Page Layouts” and “Plan Your Scrapbook Page First

Everything in its place–arrange items with thought and purpose–for continuity and relationship.

When designing your scrapbook pages everything has it’s place.  Every aspect, from pictures, journaling to embellishments, should be placed in an order that provides fluidity, harmony and continuity to all the other elements of the page.  The placement of items should provide a natural flow from one facet to another in an orderly fashion.  The colors should enhance and augment the theme of the page.  The two articles above should help provide more detail about this continuity concept, and the importance of putting each element in an appropriate place on your scrapbook page.

Construct your page using the “Rule of Thirds.”

The “Rule of Thirds” is an design tool to layout your scrapbook page into thirds–both horizontally and vertically.  This provides you with 9 imaginary boxes.  A companion rule is the “Golden Ratio.”  Both of these rules help you identify areas on your page where you would or could begin placing the focal elements.  These are not a hard and fast rules for scrapbookers, but the give you a starting point.  For more information and detail on these two design tools see our articles: “Scrapbook Layout: “The Rule of Thirds” and “Scrapbook Layout: “The Golden Ratio.”

Everything in its place–arrange items with thought and purpose–for continuity and relationship.

Based on the information provided thus far you can see where everything on your page should be coordinated and focused on the theme you are presenting.  Each element should add to or enhance the pictoral story you are presenting to the viewer.  Like or related items, when grouped together or in close proximity to one another, will help create a stronger visual image.  This process adds emphasis and focus to a specific element on the page.   All related elements should help direct viewers to the primary focus of the created page.

Repetition is beneficial in the design helps provide unity of elements.

Repetition in your page construction process adds to the overall continuity of the page.  This process helps pull the page together.  This technique is especially important when you are creating double or multiple pages on the same theme.  Repeating such items as: color, texture, shapes, sizes, embellishments, etc. will help hold an tie together your page.

Contrast can provide interest and focus.

By varying various aspects and elements of your scrapbook page you create interest through contrast.  You can change or add contrasting features such as: color, size, font type, shape, etc.  Contrast can be over done to the extent the prime focus or theme of your page is lost.  This is one of those areas where “a little goes a long ways.”  Use it, but be judicious in the application.  Start simple and add as needed.

Embellishments should be consistent and coordinating.

Embellishments on your pages should be added to provide or enhance your page’s theme or focus.  Use them consistently and in a coordinated way.  This is especially true when creating double or multiple pages.  The principle here is similar to “Contrast can provide interest and focus.” noted in the previous item.  A reminder, a little goes a long way.

Eliminate white space and voids.

Generally speaking, what you want to do is fill your page with material that adds, or speaks to, the focus of your page.  “white space” (open or blank space) can distract the viewer’s attention to your theme.  You don’t have to have “every space filled with something.”  You want the page to flow from element to element with the least with the least amount of distraction to draw the viewer away for the purpose of you picture story.

Utilize the “odd number” element.

In the art world, artist hold to the element of “odd numbers” (1, 3, 5, 7, etc.).  Scrapbooker’s should hold to this rule as well.  Viewers find odd numbers to be easier and more pleasant to look at–the understanding of this is not fully understood, but it works.  Most pages should not exceed 5 items of point.  This may well be one of those “don’t fix what ain’t broke” sort of things.  Just use it!

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Ron on May 28th, 2010 | File Under Basics, Design, Scrapbooking | No Comments -