We talk a lot about where to put our photos and digital scrapbook elements on our layouts to provide balance, focus, and visual interest. But today, I want us to think about where to place that often-overlooked workhorse that really tells the story – our journaling blocks.
Sometimes I forget about my journaling until the very last stage of my layout. Too often, I don’t include it in my thought process when designing my page. “Oh yeah, I didn’t leave room for my journaling,” or “Oh, well, I can’t fit it on the layout, so I guess it’s fine without it,” or “That’s okay, I’ll just squeeze it in over here.” Sound familiar? Has that ever happened to you?
In the layout below, I have completed the layout without any journaling, so I can show you some ideas on journaling placement.
While there is plenty of white space remaining on this layout, I am going to show you several options for where I can put my journaling block. In the first example below, the journaling is placed on a text line around the perimeter of the layout. It’s intended to be creatively placed, but I don’t like it. It doesn’t “fit” with my teenage theme and bold, saturated colors.
In the next sample, the journaling is in the lower corner which is a natural place to put journaling. But it isn’t a large enough space for the amount of the journaling I wish to include. Plus, it creates an imbalance in the overall layout.
Since the corners tend to be logical places for journaling, I tried the opposite corner of the layout to see how that would look. The shape of the text box had to change, and it doesn’t feed into the flow of the layout. This looks like the journaling was a serious after-thought and just stuck onto the layout.
Trying yet a third corner of the layout as journaling spot, the upper left works a little better as it allows your eye to flow a little more through the journaling into the photo and then down into the lower corner where the vine and the bow anchor the layout. However, the strong linear line of the embellishment on the right side of the layout competes with the journaling where they come together towards the upper right of the layout. Everything is just too heavy there, and again, the overall layout feels unbalanced to me.
In the last example (below), I placed the journaling as an element of its own and included it while considering the overall placement of the photos and the embellishments. This allows the journaling to be an intrinsic part of the layout and not an afterthought that is “out in left field.” The strong linear aspect of the embellishment on the right-hand side is repeated by the journaling running in a similarly linear fashion. Notice the parallel lines. The journaling is justified to the right to give that nice clean line. The journaling is anchored with a simple embellishment both above and below, not only to create a visual beginning and end to the journaling, but to tie it in with rest of the layout. Notice how those two small embellishments create two of the three repeating color elements; the bow creates the third. The journaling “belongs” here in this position. The eye starts at the upper left of the layout, runs through the journaling into the photo, and to the anchor of the embellishment at the right-hand side. Nothing is out in left field, and nothing looks like an afterthought.
There is no added title work as the writing on the car is prominent enough to be the title. Any title that might have been added would have competed for attention. Notice also that because of the flamboyance of the writing on the car, the journaling font was kept simple to contribute to the overall layout and not compete with the title. The font color choice? It was designed to emulate the color of the strong linear element on the right. Every aspect of the journaling was included all along.
While working on your digital scrapbook layouts, how about challenging yourself to consider your journaling block in the early design phases of your layout? See how many creative ways you can consider your journaling as a design element, and make your thoughts, as well as your photos, shine!
Digital scrapbooking products used:
Tutorial written by Amy Flanagan