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The Art of Scrapbooking
There are as many reasons for making a scrapbook as there are styles of scrapbooks. Weddings, babies, and milestone birthdays traditionally spark lots of photo-taking and reflection; in this chapter, we've included projects for preserving these most special memories. But everyday moments have their beauty and importance in the warp and woof of a lifetime's fabric, and you'll find ideas for recording these, too. Here, we've created 16 totally new memory books and keepsake boxes, along with step-by-step instructions so you can duplicate the projects at home. Some begin with purchased albums, which we personalize to suit a chosen theme; others are started from scratch.Some of these projects introduce basic bookbinding techniques, which can be adapted for many kinds of albums.
Consider these scrapbooks, albums, journals, and memory boxes as inspiration, to be adapted for any theme. With a change of materials or palette, a baby book can become an anniversary book, a gardener's workbook can become a decorator's journal. The only limit is your imagination.
Just as music is sound and silence, so graphic design (the way a page is set up) depends on the balance and interaction of words, images, and blank space. There are no rules when you' re creating a scrapbook or photo album page layout; the result must only be pleasing to the eye your eye. That said, a few considerations will help you to decide just how to achieve an effective page layout.
Old-fashioned photo albums had page after page of photos mounted squarely in unwavering rows. YOU will add visual interest and makeinformation easy to grasp in your scrapbooks by varying photo placement, adding captions, and embellishing the pages.
Before you begin, flip through a few magazines or illustrated books and take a closer look at pages that appeal to you as well as those you don't really care for. Is your eye drawn first to the pictures or to the words? Is the type size and style readable? Do elements compete with each other for your attention? Does the page look "clean" (easy to understand at a glance) or is it just plain boring? Is the layout too cluttered to lead you through in an orderly way? Or is it a clever balance that lets you readily catch on to the main idea, but also reveals more subtle details each time you study it anew?
Start with just a few elements on your scrapbook page and build gradually. Keeping things simple to begin with helps you focus on the layout and what is important. Once the essentials are in place, add layers carefully and one at a time, always being careful not to let the page become too cluttered. In most cases, think about the positioning of each element so that you end up with an attractive, clear composition that looks well-planned and executed, rather than just a conglomeration of items pasted hodge-podge around the page. Try laying out the sequence of pictures and elements first before fixing them permanently in position, and adjust the sequence and organization until you are happy with it.
Ask yourself, "What's the focal point of the page?" Think about the feeling you wish to convey or the image you want to feature and position objects so that the eve is naturally drawn toward the most important element.
Strive for balance between the starring and supporting elements. For a page in a wedding memory book, for example, you may have a closeup of the bride and groom cutting the cake. A simple caption underneath might enhance the story, while a headline in 3-inch-high letters of gaudy red glitter will almost certainly detract from the photo. On the other hand, a glittery gold border around a photo of a high school play might suggest a theater marquee. It all depends on content and context.
Balance and positioning also come into play when you think about the visual "weight" of the elements on the page. A large, dark picture mounted at the top of a page might look top-heavy, especially if it appears to be squishing a tiny caption below. Crowding lots of images, even at angles, on a page will convey a frenetic "day in the life" of a toddler, but might be inappropriate for a more formal subject.
Consider perspective. Where is the viewer in relation to the subject? Looking down at someone from a high vantage point? Eye-to-eye? Looking up? Perhaps other elements on the page can be positioned to lead the eve naturally to the main area of interest.
Variety keeps a page (or a series of pages) lively. Don't feel that all photos on the page have to have a uniformity of focus; it's fine to combine close-ups and panoramas, or color and black-and-white images. Surround a big photo with lots of little satellite photos; inset or mortise a small interesting shot into a larger image with a boring or blank background.
While variety can sustain interest in a series of pages, a common element a stripe of color on the edge of each page or a simple border can provide a feel of continuity. You could also color-code pages by season or by topic.
Graphic designers use many techniques to subtly enhance a page. Consider the following:
- Don't feel you have to fill in every last bit of the page. A bit of white space can give a page a bit of breathing room. Try to edit the selections for each page ruthlessly!
- Variety is important in layout and type. Contrast size, style, or color of typeface for headings and captions, but try not to change typefaces or sizes too often.
- Focus on the important elements first and build the layout around them. Make sure it's obvious which caption goes with which photo.
- Add layers gradually. Put captions or little bits of text into boxes with a tinted background (like this one), for example. In a photo album, you could match the color of a border or frame for a photo and the background for a caption.
- Consider facing pages in relation to each other. Is each page self-contained, or does it become a "spread"? If it's a spread, consider how to link the two pages for good flow, such as having a headline span both pages or framing the outer edges of the pages with a continuous border.
- If most of the items on a page are lined up square, give emphasis to a special item by mounting it at an angle.
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