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Key Layout Design Principles for Great Creative Scrapbooks
Scrapbooking at its essence is really about storytelling, but with a visual and tactile, rather than oral, focus. Scrapbooking is also a method for preserving a legacy or history in the form of photographs, printed media, and memorabillia contained in decorated albums, or scrapbooks.
The tremendous growth of the Internet has resulted in more creative scrapbook approaches as well as online scrapbooks. The digital photography revolutions has been accompanied by an explosion in creative scrapbook ideas.
Scrapbooking can be quick and easy if you simply copy other layouts or use tools such as computer programs to create pages. However, if you want more of a creative challenge, try your hand at designing your own layouts. Don't be surprised at the difficulty you may have designing the pages for your first album, because layout design is trickier than it first seems. With a little imagination and a lot of inspiration, you are well on your way to designing layouts, but you also need a good foundation of knowledge to take this art to the next level.
Photograph placement is important. Generally, a layout, whether it is one page or two, looks better with an odd number of pictures. Our eyes also find it pleasing to scan the page in an "s" shaped pattern-that is, imagine a giant letter S covering your page. Your most important pictures should lie in the upper right-hand corner, at the start of the S, while your least important picture should fall in the lower left-hand corner at the end of the S. Of course, this is just a general guideline-many other techniques can be used to create interest and focus your eyes on a particular spot on the page.
There is no wrong way to scrapbook. Typically, the more creative and resourceful the person, the better the page. The main focus of each page should be the picture, letter or other momento, whatever is the most important to the creator. If you are interested in starting to digital scrapbook, or incorporate digital techniques with traditional scrapbooking, there are a myriad of Web resources available.
In most designs, the biggest picture is also the most important and most eye pleasing. This can be achieved by cropping other pictures to be smaller or by using multiple mats under the most important picture to give it the sense that it is bigger. Mats should usually be used under all pictures to help them stand out from the background page.
Color is an important part of the design. Use your most important photograph as a key and draw two or three colors from this picture to make the layout. If your pictures are very colorful and you can't choose a dominating color, use your surrounding as inspiration. The shades of red and pink used in your bedspread would also look nice placed together on a scrapbook page, for example. Stick to three colors or less in most cases so that your photographs are not overwhelmed.
Designing is all about having fun and experimenting. Don't worry if your first attempts are less than perfect, because over time you will get better. As with any skill, practice will help you improve. Look at pre-made layouts to get a sense of what works and what does not and take these ideas to your own pages to create beautiful albums.
About the Author: Michael Saunders edits a site on Creative Scrapbook Ideas and is president of Information Organizers, LLC.