Tools of the Trade: Perfect Products to Help You with Page Design Principles

When I think of the term page design, I get a little overwhelmed with how broad of a meaning it can have. There are several page design principles to consider when putting together your scrapbook pages:  balance, rhythm, proportion, dominance, unity, contrast, negative space, rule of thirds, visual center, color balance, typography and dimension.  Not sure how to apply these guidelines to your layouts?  Keep these products and tools at your fingertips to guide and assist you in creating layouts that you will love.

Balance

While arranging the papers and embellishments on your digital page, it is important to be aware of the visual weight each has within your layout. Whether you prefer symmetrical or asymmetrical composition,  there are templates available that can help you balance your page.
SWL 3sacharm lbanasiak0112 300x300 Tools of the Trade: Perfect Products to Help You with Page Design Principles Scrapping With Liz's 3's a Charm Journaling Templates are a fantastic example of great horizontal symmetry within a scrapbook page. Her photographs are placed strategically to balance the visual weight on either side of the layout.
SG plantyourstory lbanasiak0112 300x300 Tools of the Trade: Perfect Products to Help You with Page Design Principles Sara Gleason offers many asymmetrical templates in her store. I chose this Plant Your Story pack to showcase because I really like how she uses not only elements to balance the visual weight on the page, but also text.

Rhythm

CS single10 lbanasiak0112 300x300 Tools of the Trade: Perfect Products to Help You with Page Design Principles The first designer that came to mind when I began researching the use of rhythm in scrapbooking was Cindy Schneider. She provides many photo spots in her templates that give your page a sense of movement in which your eyes can thoughtfully gaze from one side of the page to the other.

Proportion

FDD fussfree3 lbanasiak0112 300x300 Tools of the Trade: Perfect Products to Help You with Page Design Principles Cheryl of Fiddle Dee Dee Designs often releases templates that offer the scrapper the option of playing with proportion and element distribution on their page. You'll notice that in many of her products, she provides many layers that hold varied perceptive values on the page. In her Fuss Free Set 3 pack, I noticed background layers that were given less visual weight but still contributed to the overall balance of the page with their proportion to the more prominent element layers.

Dominance

CS halfpack27 lbanasiak0112 300x300 Tools of the Trade: Perfect Products to Help You with Page Design Principles Cindy Schneider's Halfpack #27 is a prime example of the dominance principle in scrapbook page design. Although there are plenty of places for your eyes to wander about the page, the large focal photographs hold the most visual weight. This guarantees that the first place your eyes will go is that large, dominant photograph.

Unity

It is my understanding that the concept of unity in scrapbook page design deals with the relationship between all of the competing elements on the layout and how easily the person viewing the page may organize the visual information being provided.
CQ gimmelayers lbanasiak0112 300x300 Tools of the Trade: Perfect Products to Help You with Page Design Principles Melissa of Cluster Queen Creations has many template packs that give a very unified and organized look to layouts without leaving the page bare of element clusters. I chose to feature her pack Gimme Layers Photo Love Vol. 2.

Contrast

VW TopographySetno15 lbanasiak0112 300x300 Tools of the Trade: Perfect Products to Help You with Page Design Principles I am a big fan of the contrast that Valorie Wibbens uses in her scrapbook pages and in turn, her scrapbooking templates. Somehow, she is able to balance her pages with chaotic perfection that still leave the page looking very well thought out and put together.  That's why I love her Typography set no. 15.

Negative Space

SC cleanandsimple12 lbanasiak0112 300x300 Tools of the Trade: Perfect Products to Help You with Page Design Principles I don't scrap very many white or negative space layouts, so I had a look around digiland for some great templates to help. I came across Sabrina's Creations at the suggestion of a friend and really liked what I saw. Her Clean and Simple pack not only shows great use of negative space, but also has fantastic balance in composition.

Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds really interests me because I had been applying this in my own scrapping without being aware that it was a "rule". In the rule of thirds, it is said that the most interesting pieces of art (or in our case, scrapbook pages) are the ones in which the focus is off center. If you split your layout into nine equally sized cubes, the elements and focal points should lie on the lines with which those cubes were split.
nettio temp6 lbanasiak0112 300x300 Tools of the Trade: Perfect Products to Help You with Page Design Principles Nettio Designs has a great set in her store that immediately caught my eye. Single Template No. 6 has the photographs and title placed with the rule of thirds in mind. Great template!

Visual Center

jennck modernstyle3 lbanasiak0112 300x300 Tools of the Trade: Perfect Products to Help You with Page Design Principles Visual center in design somewhat ties in with the rule of thirds. The visual center of a piece of artwork is said to be slightly above and to the right of the actual center. I found some great templates in JennCK Designs' store. I chose to showcase her Modern Style Templates Vol. 3 as a great example of how to utilize the visual center rule in your scrapbooking.

Color Balance

kaym piecesofmyheart11 lbanasiak0112 300x300 Tools of the Trade: Perfect Products to Help You with Page Design Principles Kay Miller stands out in my mind as a fantastic color balance scrapper. She spreads out the colors of a scrapbook kit so that each part of her jam-packed page has a little of this and a little of that. I'd like to show off her Pieces of My Heart 11 pack to demonstrate what I mean.
When creating my own scrapbook pages, I notice myself balancing colors as well. Take a look at your unfinished page and ask yourself if you have too much of one color on either side or third of your page. Try moving it around and see if it sits with you a little bit better.

Typography

Typography is the art of arranging text or type to make a visually pleasing work of art. I'll show off a few of my favorite text friendly scrapbooking products in hopes that they might inspire you to find creative ways to use type on your page.
swl uppercase lbanasiak0112 300x300 Tools of the Trade: Perfect Products to Help You with Page Design Principles Uppercase Chopped Alpha Temps Scrapping with Liz
libby paperclips lbanasiak0112 300x300 Tools of the Trade: Perfect Products to Help You with Page Design Principles Paper Clips Templates Libby Pritchett
cc comingfullcircle lbanasiak0112 300x300 Tools of the Trade: Perfect Products to Help You with Page Design Principles Coming Full Circle Chelle's Creations
Fonts by Heather Hess Custom Fonts by Darcy Baldwin

Dimension

Lastly, what would a digital page be without dimension? The most common worry I hear from paper scrapbookers is that if they scrapped digitally, their pages would look flat. This does not need to be the case! I've come across some really fun tools that can help with your shadowing and overall layout dimension.
ft 3d lbanasiak0112 300x300 Tools of the Trade: Perfect Products to Help You with Page Design Principles CU 3-D Actions for PS and PSE Faith True Originals
WZ ShadowIt3D lbanasiak0112 300x300 Tools of the Trade: Perfect Products to Help You with Page Design Principles Shadow It 3D Wendyzine Scraps
ss shadows lbanasiak0112 300x300 Tools of the Trade: Perfect Products to Help You with Page Design Principles Realistic Drop Shadow Styles Sahlin Studio
tstroud rocktheshadows lbanasiak0112 300x300 Tools of the Trade: Perfect Products to Help You with Page Design Principles Rock The Shadows Layer Styles Tracie Stroud
That about covers it, friends! I hope you've learned a bit about page design and maybe even found some cool tools to purchase in your quest for scrapping perfection!
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  • Suzan

    Super great article :)