Layout Fix #1: Part 1, Title & Contrast
I've been thinking about layout design lately, and how to go about teaching it. It's a complicated subject since there isn't really a "right" answer, and also I don't know what I'm talking about. I have no design training and work almost entirely off of instinct, which is obviously not helpful to anyone. So I've done a little reading, and I thought perhaps a quick way to try and figure out what I'm doing when I work on a layout would be to try and "fix" someone else's.
I say "fix" since just because I've moved things in a certain way doesn't make it right. With this exercise I'm trying to isolate different design principles that you can use in creating and fixing your own layouts. However, it's totally possible that you may prefer the original layout, or some step along the way. Please feel free to share your thoughts below in the comments.
So here's my first attempt. And thanks to Catherine for being the guinea pig in this project! (See instructions at the end to submit your own layout.)
Here's the original. Overall, it's a nice layout. I like how the colors complement the photos and make it feel fun. The thing that jumps out at me right away (or actually, doesn't jump out) is the title. It's small and blending into the background, making the layout feel unfinished.
So here's the same layout, just with an adjustment to the tile.
You'll notice that I chose a black alpha to use for the title. The second issue I noticed was a lack of contrast throughout the layout. Because the papers match the photos so well, and are all quite close on the color wheel (and BRIGHT!), everything gets mixed up together. So the next change I made was to add a little contrast to the page. The title already added a nice break from the bright, and now I just mixed in one contrasting paper.
Now to finish up, I've just moved around a couple of the papers, since adding in the black paper changed what papers were touching (I didn't like the purple stripes next to the black stripes). I've also readjusted the elements, switching the ones on top and bottom. The "hole" at the top was bigger, so I thought it needed the larger element. Now that the title is bigger, it doesn't need such a large element next to it. I also changed the crop on the photo to the left, so that it filled up more of the frame.
Before and after. What do you think? Does it actually look better now? Or did you prefer the original? Any other changes you'd have made?
I think with just a few tweaks, the layout has a more finished look. I'm pretty happy with this as a final product. I did make another version, that has been altered quite a bit from the original. I'll be sharing those changes with you next week.
If you have a layout you'd like me to "fix" please email it to email@example.com. You'll likely need to zip the file and use a file sharing service (Google Drive, Dropbox, etc) to share such a large file. I will reply to your email to let you know I've received it. If you haven't heard from me after a day or two, try sending it again.
I love digital scrapbooking. I also love to read and bake cookies. Especially while drinking tea. I've lived around the world, and love to travel, which is usually the theme of most of my scrapping projects.