Hello! Aly Dosdall here from the design team, and I’m so excited to introduce this July blog series called Basic Design Principles. Each week this month I will share with you a principle or element of design with the goal of helping you create beautiful scrapbook pages that you are proud to share and include in your albums. Of course, every page we create is something special because it tells our story and records our memories, but if you’ve ever come across a beautiful scrapbook page and wondered, how did she do that?, then hopefully this series will help you!
This week is all about the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds is a guideline which can be applied to the composition of art, photography, and design. The guideline states that an image can be divided into nine imaginary equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines, and that the most important elements of that image should be placed either along these lines or at their intersections. While centering important elements of an image can be effective, aligning important elements using the rule of thirds tends to create more tension, energy and interest in the composition.
Example: I Will Always Need You
The above scrapbook page is a good example of the rule of thirds. CLICK HERE to go to the project center for a supply list and full instructions. Take a look at the image below, where I’ve overlayed the imaginary with equally spaced horizontal and vertical lines.
You can see that I placed the most important elements of this page (my mother’s face, and the word “you”) at the intersection of the right and bottom lines. It’s important to note that when I scrapbook I don’t measure these lines exactly, I just eyeball them. As long as your element is close to the area of interest, your use of this rule will be effective.
Placing your focal (or most important) photo at one of the intersections of these lines will ensure that the viewer’s eye goes to that element of the page first. In essence, it will reinforce the fact that that element is the most important part of your story.
Example: In 2012 I Will
The above scrapbook page shows another way to apply the rule of thirds to your layouts. Since there were several important elements on this page, instead of placing them at the intersections of the lines I placed them all close together in the left two-thirds of the page. Take a look at the image below where I overlayed the vertical 2/3 line.
You can see that none of the important elements of the page (title, photos and journaling) crosses over the 2/3 line. Keeping the main elements of your page within 2/3 of your layout is an effective way to use the rule of thirds when you have several important parts to your story.
Example: Beauty All Around
The page above I created using Mediterranean Market papers demonstrates another application of the rule of thirds. On this page I placed my main elements (photos, title, and journaling) along the two horizontal lines. Take a look at the image below to see the horizontal line guides overlayed on the page.
You can design a page with your photos along the top horizontal line and your title/journaling along the bottom (as I did here), or you can mix things up and place your title along the top line, and your photos and journaling along the bottom; your journaling and photos along the top, and your title along the bottom, etc. Just play around with the composition until you’re happy with the look!
The most important thing to remember about design principles and elements is that they are tools in your creative arsenal to help you scrapbook more quickly and beautifully. You may use none of these principles on a page, only one, or several of them all together. They are simply helpful tools that are available if you need them.
Be sure to come back next week when I share another design principle. Here’s a hint…mirror, mirror on the wall. Please feel free to ask any questions you might have in the comments section below.