The layout I shared on the Roundtable was one (of many!) that I put together with lots of doubt! It’s still not my favorite page, but it’ll do! I took pictures of each step as I went back-and-forth on a number of issues that were bugging me. I thought I’d add visuals of those steps for you to look at after hearing the Roundtable episode (or possible during, or even before!).
1) Photo placement –
I’m a big believer in deciding on the best placement for the photos before choosing the backgrounds, since patterns and colors are distracting. I’ve been doing it for years and later learned that most designers first design with a grey scale before they add the variables of colors and patterns to their design.
2) Journaling -
Unless I know my journaling will only be a sentence or two, I like to write it out ahead of time. The journaling equips me to make product choices that support my story.
This was my clan!
For the first four years of elementary school we walked, mostly with these same kids. It depended on the year because some were too young or too old in other years.
We had fun, and these guys were necessary allies against the school and neighborhood bullies!!
Eventually my school shut down and we got bused to a farther school after that.
3) Background paper -
Numbers seemed appropriate for a story about walking to school.
4) Lightening it up -
I didn’t like how dark and heavy the background — it wasn’t telling my story. So I decided to make it a side piece. I chose a patterned paper with a white background and added a yellow glimmer mist around the edges to make it work with the number paper.
5) Matte -
I decided to matte the photo with a color that emphasizes the important part of the story in the pictures. I wanted the focus to be more on us kids and less on the morning glow of the California sun, so I picked a blue piece of paper as a matte. Then I stamped numbers to the bottom of the blue matte in order to carry the number theme throughout the page, and also to cut away the excess. This cut away bottom allows the yellow and blue to interact and feel more like a cohesive team.
At this point I also felt that the slightly tilted photo positioning didn’t work with the new matte size. I changed them to a straight up-and-down overlap position.
6) Toning it down -
The ink I used for those numbers was too bright! I tried to make it blend by stamping again with yellow ink, which was a totally lame attempt at a comeback.
7) Toning it down again and making it blue instead of green! –
I tried one more time by adding a pale blue distress embossing powder.
8) Tacking embellishments up in possible positions -
I thought I would do three in a vertical row where the papers intersect so I tacked some options up there.
And this is the point at which I began to feel very unhappy with my layout. It’s so dark and heavy and more serious than the story calls for. WAY more serious. I considered starting over but forced myself to move things around for a while. I also scalloped a paper edge to lighten the tone and cause more interaction between the dark, dark brown and the yellow paper. This also gave me more room along the left side to add my journaling.
Finally I moved over to the right and started a page with a white background, bright, happy colors, and a looser composition — something I was so craving!
That satisfied my need. So I went back and finished my page…
It’s not one-hundred percent what I would choose, but I think it’s alright. Or at least alright enough.