Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Inside GIS: Black, White and Beige deconstructed design

Oh how I love using black, especially for text. It's classic. It grabs the eye. It can add a punch of color without using color. If I don't use black on page, there's a good chance I'm using a white or a beige in a similar way.

This page came together easily. I just happened to pull out all the neutral pieces I loved and let them do the work. The work is really in the intentional use and placement of each element.

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When I first signed up for the Critique Workshop over at Get It Scrapped in 2012, my goal was to learn how to scrap with intention. This is not an uncommon goal for memory keepers. The subject comes up over and over again at GIS and in Office Hours.

At first glance, you may just see color and shape, words and doodles and bits of paper making a simple page. If you look deeper into the page you may see the use of design principles and symbolism in this page. In case you don't, let me break down my intention for you:

1) The background paper. It's beige, it's got some messy spots and it's lined. The messy spots are not just symbolic of discomfort, but also gave me a place to start my composition. The lines help you move left to right, from title to photo. The color is soft, just like a kitty.

2) The photo. It's sepia toned to bring out the squinched up face while keeping the idea that kitties are soft and lovable even when they say "eww".

3) The circles.  Circles are a visual representation of predictable cycles. This face happens regularly at predictable moment. The predictable nature of a circle also makes a stable foundation for a loose composition.

4) The frame. We frame things that are special to us, but getting a photo of this sort of moment with an animal isn't easy to capture, which is why the frame sits behind the photo.

5) The title. It's a direct statement of my feelings. It physically supports the left side of the photo (adding balance), keeping the photo cluster from feeling like it will tip over. It also adds visual interest and energy with it's contrast and lines. It is softened just a tad by creamy, transparent version underneath.

6) The doodled line. It frames the page, so your eye gets ping-ponged back up the page. The lines also symbolize time passing.

7) The bow/string. These are a few of my favorite things... The expression makes me laugh and laughter is a gift. James is a gift, really. The lines of the string feel like they are in motion, which works great when your story is about action. It connects the title and photo cluster, too.

8) Journal strips. I digitally cut these. They were rectangles that are warped and skewed to make them feel hand cut. I also warped the text to match the curves in the paper as it pulls away from the background. The strips add visual interest, energy, but also stability because of their repetition.

9) Stitches. Not only do they add polish to the page (affixers do that), the angle of the stitches lead us into the composition.

10) Tape and sequins. Sparkles and glitters add a sense of motion to any layout because our minds know they continuously reflect light. (think Gestalt)  Using these embellishments is an easy way to add interest and polish to page at the same time.

A simple page is rarely ever simple. You can't hide mistakes and you must rely on the principles of design to pull it off. If you want to know more about the design principles, I highly recommend joining us with a Get It Scrapped membership.

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