Layout Critique Success
Hey everyone! Just wanted to let you all know what a success our first layout critique was! Everyone left some really great advice and I was just left to try and figure out what to implement. I didn't want to influence anyone with my own opinions on the layout before, but I'll share them now:
What I Liked
- I loved the photo. Despite (or more likely because of) the weird angle, you can feel the emotion from this shot.
- I liked the crops of different parts of the photo highlighting different things.
- I liked the idea of a bold, vivid color scheme which I think complements the feeling of the photo.
What I Could Improve
- Like on all my old layouts, the shadowing could really use an update. Also, some sort of indication of where, when, what.
- The colors in the original photo are great. I'm not sure why I made them all black and white.
- What's going on with the background? It wasn't until I opened up the old .PSD file that I realized I had overlayed the photo in the background as well. But you can't tell and it just looks a little weird.
- I'm not sure about those swirls.
I found the original photo, tweaked it in Lightroom and determined that the whole photo should be emphasized in the new layout. Some people mentioned the white background of the collage being distracting, and eating up the photos, and I agree. In the original layout you can't even tell that the whole photo is there (top left corner of the collage). I pulled the photos out of the collage and tweaked the b&W version to be the same (that's how I changed the color of my shirt in the original, just by playing with the slider in the B&W conversion). I made the background black to be simple and help the photos pop and added a little color behind the photos. The swirls were overwhelming on the black background so I tucked them up in the corners to frame everything. Finally I wanted to add a some sort of text to the layout, but anything I could think of seemed to kind of tip the emotive picture into extreme cheesy. So in the end I just put a little location and date and then ran the lyrics from a song in the background, so you aren't overwhelmed with emotion ;).
I think I'm pretty happy with how the layout turned out. I wonder if perhaps it's a little minimal, but that may just be my inner pack-rat demanding more stuff. Since the photos are the thing, I wanted them more or less to stand on their own.
This process was pretty exciting for me. It was great to see everyone's comments, so much so that I was inspired into redoing a layout that I wouldn't have thought twice about before. It was great to take the focus off of getting a layout done and really stop and think about why I was doing something and what I wanted to make happen. Perhaps not a method for all the time, but definitely an exercise I would like to repeat.
All that being said I would strongly recommend you to submit a layout for critique. You don't have to commit to a redo like I did, but I think you will be pleased with whatever comes out of the process. Jordan and I are thinking about making this critique process a more permanent part of the site somehow, but for now we have to prove that other people besides me are interested in it. Please submit your layout to email@example.com
Hi There! I’m Marisa Lerin and you’ll see me around at Pixel Scrapper a lot. I started this site in 2010 soon after I discovered a new love in digital scrapbooking. Pixel Scrapper has gone through some significant changes since that time and it’s grown into this lovely community site you are seeing now. I am daily surprised by the turn of life’s events that has led me down this path. If you're new to the site, welcome! Here are a few tidbits about me that I hope will help you get to know me better!
I’m originally from Minnesota, USA, but spent a good chunk of my childhood living abroad (in Bolivia and Hong Kong). I returned to Minnesota to attend university, got married and then moved overseas again (Korea, then Jordan and 1 year of traveling). My designs are heavily influenced by these many nomadic years. I am currently back in the USA, now living in the great state of Oregon!
I have no official training for what I’m doing, since I decided very wisely (haha) to study physics in university. I am always learning new things about digital scrapbooking, and this community has been immensely helpful for that!
If I manage to stop digital scrapbooking you will probably find me watching TV, reading or baking. I also enjoy writing for the blog here at Pixel Scrapper where I talk about whatever happens to be catching my fancy at the moment.
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