Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Simple Tutorial Continued

If you're just tuning in for this week, you'll want to scroll down and read the Monday entry. It looks long, but it's a fast read. We're continuing on with another guideline for simple, memorable page layouts, using the two sample layouts from the last post.

2. It's all about the page hierarchy.

"Page hierarchy" refers to the organization of the elements in any piece of artwork or graphic material, so that the artwork delivers its message in the right order.

Think of each page in your scrapbook like it has a story to tell. The grid is one of many tools to help you put the story in order on each page. Good page hierarchy simply means that the eye is properly led from the first element of the story to the last. Other things that help you emphasize different elements on a page in their right order are size (bigger items demand more attention first), and color (brighter, warmer hues obviously steal the show), among others.

Below, there are numbers in front of the different page elements for both Layouts 1 and 2, with the size of the number showing what order your eye is most likely to move through them. Lots of patterns, overpowering embellishments, and the haphazardly placed photo and text all make Layout 1 a jumbled blur. There isn't a coherent story for your eye to focus on, and Layout 1 will most likely be forgotten as soon as the page is turned.

Layout 2 is more memorable because your eye can focus on the image first and foremost, fixing it in your mind. The caption comes next, so that the image is mentally tied with its story. And lastly, the eye is then free to wander from one little square tile to the next, subtly associating the memory of the image and its story with textures and impressions of, in this case, a bright, sunny Easter day.

Did you notice that there isn't a title on Layout 2? Not every layout needs one. Including titles on layouts is very much a matter of personal preference. Where the caption explains the picture fairly well, and it complements the simplicity of the page, I decided not to add one.

Come back and visit us tomorrow for the final installment for this tutorial. And thank you for all of your responses to our plea for help! We heard you loud and clear and we're cooking up some good stuff for the weeks to come.

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