Pulling together a design for a scrapbook layout can sometimes be quite challenging. Working out how to combine all the elements on your page to create the best effect doesn’t always come naturally to me and perhaps some of you struggle with it too sometimes.
So I thought I’d take a moment today to return to basics and talk about a couple of key design principles in scrapbook layout design: the Rule of Thirds and ‘Z’ Movement.
The Rule of Thirds
This is a technique that has been used by artists for centuries. I don’t have the answer as to why it works but it just does. I figure who am I to ignore a technique that worked for Leonardo da Vinci and Michaelangelo. Basically you mentally divide your page into three horizontal panels and three vertical ones. Imagine a tic-tac-toe board overlaid on it.
To create the most visually effective scrapbook layout place key elements along the lines and especially at the intersections. If possible place the eyes in your focal photo at one of these intersections for the most impact. You can see what I mean in the layout on the right. Seona’s eyes are lined up along the top horizontal line of the ‘imaginary’ grid, close to the intersection of vertical line. The bottom of the photo lines up with the bottom line and the accent on the corner is once again sitting on the intersection. You might also notice that the Title and the flower clusters form a visual triangle to help lead the eye around the layout.
Overall this technique helps you to create balance on your scrapbook layout. Once you start applying it, you’ll find that it starts to come naturally and you won’t need to concentrate on thinking about your imaginary grid.
The ‘Tuppence a Bag’ layout on the left demonstrates what I mean. If you can provide a sequence for the eye to follow then the layout will have more appeal as its story enfolds to the viewer.
Now this isn’t rocket science, but if you combine these two techniques in your scrapbook layout design you will have a really powerful framework to build your layout on. And your elements will almost seem to place themselves quite naturally.
When I am struggling to find inspiration for the design of my layouts (especially my paper scrapping ones) I find these two techniques are an absolute boon and really help me out of that design block hole.
Other related posts:
Scrapbooking Tips & Techniques – The Visual Triangle
Scrapbooking Tips & Techniques – Make Coordinating Flowers
Scrapbooking Tips & Techniques – Photomerge: electronic versions of your paper scrapbook layouts.