Embrace the Space … on your Scrapbook Page

Yesterday I wrote about Simple Scrapbooking and I touched on the minimalist style of scrapbook layouts. Where you leave a large part of your layout canvas empty.

This is called ‘white space’ or ‘negative space’ and is a technique used in advertising and magazine layouts. Basically it means that by leaving plenty of space around your focal subject, the viewer’s eye is not confused and is drawn automatically to your point of focus. It also means that the layout design is more restful to the eye as it is not darting about all over the page, trying to take in all that there is to see.


When this style started to be taken up by the scrapbooking world, I admired the scrapbook layouts that these minimalist scrapbookers were creating but I found it really difficult to do it myself.

It’s amazing how strongly a habit becomes ingrained. I felt I just couldn’t leave so much empty space on my layouts. I had to just pop a cluster of flowers there, or maybe some ribbon and brads.

It took quite a while before I could come to terms with the Less is More approach. But I have to say, I’m really glad that I persisted. And now it’s become one of my favourite scrapbook ideas.

In this Forever scrapbook layout you can see what I mean by Less is More. The elements for this layout are from the Scrap Girls Refresh Kit. I love the effect created by a single photo with just a small collage of embellishments in a corner and a title. And I can now happily deal with leaving all the rest of the layout canvas empty. Because I think the overall effect is stylish and easy to look at.

What do you think of the Less is More approach?

Have you tried it? Maybe is isn’t for everyone, after all how boring would it be if we all adopted the same scrapbooking style? There’d be no fun in looking through other people’s galleries.

And if you’re thinking of giving it a go, here’s a little tip. If you choose your background paper with an interesting design in it, it’s easier to cope with leaving so much of the space empty.

What are your thoughts?

Other related Articles:

Simple Scrapbooks … what are they?

What’s the best Software for Digital Scrapbooking

How to Make a Photo Collage Layout

Want to learn how to digital scrapbook so you too can make cool projects like this?

Then click over to Step by Step Digital Scrapbook where you’ll find everything you need to know to get yourself started.

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6 Responses to Embrace the Space … on your Scrapbook Page

  1. JoLynn from The Fit Shack May 9, 2008 at 5:34 am #

    Hi Karen,

    I’m not a scrapbooker but I really like your reminder here of “less is more” – this applies in blogging design also, and I think it’s a good thing to remember. Thanks! :)

    JoLynn from The Fit Shack’s last blog post..Shrink Yourself Emotional Eating Experiment – Week Ten

  2. Tink May 10, 2008 at 12:34 am #

    I do like the minimalist approach although I am not good at it. When I do use it, I like a black background, b&w photo and just a pop of color in the elements. :)

  3. karooch May 10, 2008 at 9:24 am #

    Yes JoLynn and it’s hard to keep to the Less is More in blog design too. There’s always another widget to add to your sidebar.

    I can’t agree that you’re not good at it Tink. I’ve seen some of your layouts and they’re great.

  4. Raela Stander December 30, 2009 at 7:25 pm #

    I can’t seem to do anything but Less is More.. *sigh* I see so many beautiful pages with gorgeous embellishments, but when I make my own pages, they are simple and dressed down. I have trouble trying to decide where to put things and then they don’t match or I feel it looks off balance, so I take it all away and keep it sparse.

    • karooch December 30, 2009 at 8:36 pm #

      I know what you mean Raela. I tend to agonise over what should go onto the page as well. That’s one of the reasons why I love creating pages digitally. It’s so easy to play around with elements, change the shape, size and colour. And then if I don’t like the way they turn out, just hit the delete button and try something else.


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