Long, wordy, rambling titles can add a certain personality to your layout.
They can also leak out just enough of the story to compel a person to read more, because few of us can leave a story unfinished. Once we’ve started, we have to finish it right? When we’re looking through layouts, we usually register the title, but whether we look at the details or read the journaling is hit and miss.
If a hint of your story is in the title, you leave the viewer with little choice but to find out the rest of the story.
Designing Long Titles to Set the Tone
You can set an immediate tone for your story by the way you design those long titles. Most scrapbookers don’t think about the visual message the title design communicates. Instead, we usually design the titles for one of these reasons…
- We decide it’s our style to have either straight or slightly crooked titles.
- We’re in the mood to do one or the other.
- We’re emulating someone else’s title.
There’s nothing wrong with any of these reasons for choosing the style of your design. But how about choosing a style that will help tell your story and set an immediate tone at first glance?
Compare the tone that the title below communicates with the tone of the two layouts above.
The Joy of a Painted and Decluttered Room
Note: To see a larger version of a page, or to read the journaling, click on any layout. The journaling is below the layout. Then, to see a larger version, click Action > View All Sizes.
I was thinking of The Joy of Cooking cookbooks when I chose this title because of its associations to homemaking, order, and organization — not because I liked the style, but because that’s what this story is about!
Now look at this layout with its jagged title…
While making this layout, I was channeling Alanis Morrissette and her song, The Jagged Little Pill. Life is full of jagged crooked roads that bump and toss and lead us in all kinds of directions, not just for adults but even for innocent six-year-old girls who have to learn a few of life’s lessons early because of medical issues, like epilepsy.
This story is about the literal pills she had to learn to swallow twice a day, as well as the larger metaphorical pill of dealing with a seizure disorder.
Video Tutorial for Designing Long Titles that Lead Into the Story
Paperclipping Episode 170 is a video tutorial for Paperclipping Members that…
- digs deeper into the visual meaning of the designs of long rambling titles
- shares my tips and techniques for assembling long rambling titles
If you’re not a Member, you can watch the trailer by clicking on the video player below.
Members can also watch my tutorial on title designs in general, where I show how to think of titles as lines or shapes within your design, and how to use the principles of contrast and variation in your title-work. This episode shows both digital and traditional titles as examples.
Ready to start your membership so you can see this week’s video tutorial? You’ll get immediate access to 170 video tutorials, plus you’ll get two new ones every month.. Learn how to get your Paperclipping Membership here.