Layout Critique: The Rules
UPDATE: After reading through the comments from my previous post about starting a layout critique, I wanted to make one thing clear:
These rules will only apply to the layouts that I post here in the blog that are specifically marked for layout critique. We will focus on 1 layout per week. Of course these tips can be used when you are commenting on layouts in general, but since it does take time and effort, I think if we focus our efforts the payoff will be greater. If things go well, I can always increase the frequency of posting.
As I said, I will start off by posting one of my own layouts. If you are interested in submitting one of your layouts to be critiqued, please attach it and email to email@example.com
It's pretty easy to get stuck in a creative rut. I know I've gotten to the point where I know how to do lots of things, and so I do them and the push to learn something new isn't quite as strong. Also, I've always struggled with how to know what I'm missing. There's no big list somewhere: "All the Things Marisa Doesn't Know." Instead I kind of flounder around and hope I stumble across something that's helpful.
I came across this article a while ago in my browsing, and I thought to myself "that's cool." And it was only this afternoon that it occurred to me that we could do the same thing with layouts. Spending a few, focused minutes on what you like and don't like is a great way to boost creativity. Also, I'm hoping to do some research and figure out some useful tips for good design, so that we can double the learning.
I'm going to post the rules here so people can look over them. Please leave any comments with suggestions so that I can finalize them before I put up the first layout. Since it's my idea, I'll be the guinea pig and offer up one of my own layouts first. I'll post it sometime next week once we've got the plan ironed out.
If you'd like to submit a layout, please attach it and email to firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Critiques should be left as a "good feeling sandwich," as in:
- what you like
- what can be improved
- what you like
2. Please be as specific as you can.
Comments such as these are not helpful:
- I like those colors.
- I don't like purple.
- Great photo.
Instead, try specifics:
- That blue color really pops against the background.
- The purple you chose seems to clash with the other colors.
- Using a B&W photo really emphasizes the mood of the layout.
An example comment:
- I like the how the papers match the clothing in the photo.
- The layout looks cluttered. There is no central point that draws the eye. Try adding some more empty space to help bring the eye to the focus.
- The sizes of the elements are realistic and the layout looks like someone's messy desk. Great realism!
I will keep my eye on the comments and any that don't follow these rules will be deleted.
I think this could really help everyone who participates to improve their layouts. Not only will one person get lots of suggestions, but in looking closely at other layouts you'll learn what you like and don't like. Does this sound good to you?
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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