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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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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