February 23, 2011

Find Your Balance

Hi everyone Casey here.  I hope everyone is having a great week and enjoying that today is hump day...now the slow descent to another glorious weekend!  Since we normally have a little crafting time on those lovely weekends I thought it was a good idea to go ahead and discuss balance.  If you remember we are going through the design acronym ECBARF.   Thus far we have touched on Emphasis and Contrast...click the links to check those posts.

Balance...ah that elusive state where our lives and check books are in a state of calm and proportion.  Well, there are things we can do to make balance not so elusive...in our scrapping.  Have you ever completed a layout and just thought something was off?  When you looked at it did your eye not snap to the focal point or did your elements and photos look our of place?  Well, there is a chance that the layout could have been out of balance.  I find this the most challenging design element to implement into my layouts.  

So let's discuss what balance means and how to incorporate this principle into scrapping.  First off let's think about balance in terms of you and I.  When we are in balance we can walk, run, function without tipping to one side or falling...well most of us can I seem to be an exception...I'm such a klutz (off point).  With that in mind balance means nearly the exact same thing in scrapping.  A balanced layout is one that is pleasing to the eye and flows well.  

To talk about balance in scrapping one has to think about a couple of different things.  For a more in depth discussion of each one of these topics and for more example layouts please click on over to the Daily-Digi's Balance post.  But for now let's get the Cliffs Notes Version.

I'm afraid that in school I was not the best math student...this extended into algebra and geometry.  So when I first started reading about the X and Y axis in balance I started having flashbacks...but no worries it is not that bad!  I had rather think about balance from the perspective of recess...like in terms of a see-saw.  When two children of equal weigh use a see-saw it is balanced out and works pretty well.  But let's say I get on the see-saw, at 5' 10" and 145 pounds I don't think my see-saw would work so good with say a third grader.  The same olds true for your layouts.  If the layout has more heavily 'weighted' elements, photos, etc to one side or the other the balance is thrown off kilter.  So we have to use our balancing knowledge to distribute the 'weight' of our elements, photos, etc more equally.  There are several ways to do this.  Below is a discussion of the different methods used to incorporate balance and great example layouts using Sugar Pie Scraps products.

Horizontal Balance:  This design by enu0828 is a great layout to demonstrate horizontal balance.  For a moment envision a see-saw under the layout photos and elements.  Do you think the see-saw would work well or would there be one side significantly 'heavier' than the other?  Because the elements and photos have similar sizes and visual 'weight' the layout has horizontal balance.  (Kit:  Thankfulness by SPS)

Vertical Balance_  Vertical balance is identical to horizontal balance...just turn it on it's side.  For instance take a look at greengrrl's Pudding layout.  Imagine the layout sliced down the middle of the element and photo cluster...would you have two equal parts?  Pretty close I think and what a cute layout!      (Kit:  Its Potty Time Girl by SPS)

Radial Balance:  OK how many of you have ever watched the ripple effect...you know where you drop a droplet of water into a pot or sink and it causes ripples to radiate out from the center.  Ahhh...this can happen in scrapping too!  The great thing is it can work for squares and rectangles not just circles. Take a look at lnewhouse's layout IHeartU...imagine the ripple effect...pretty cool huh?  Notice how your eye comes back to the center of the layout and her gorgeous photos...that is balance and emphasis working hand-in-hand. (Kit: My Sugar Pie by SPS)

Alright now we need to talk about the kinds of balance we can use.

Symmetrical:  Back to geometry when something is symmetrical it means that it is the same on both sides.  For example, a circle when folded in half is identical on each side of the crease.  Whether the fold is top to bottom or side to side the outcome is the same...identical halves.  Symmetrical balance is the same.  Look at this layout by SugarPie...again imagine folding the layout...is it symmetrical?  Crystal's elements are weighted similarly, and placed in balance.  (Kit:  Glittery Christmas by SPS)

Asymmetrical:  Now the more tricky topic...asymmetrical balance.  Asymmetrical means that a shape or objet is not the same on both sides.  Remember those really cute dresses and skirts from a few years back...with asymmetrical or handkerchief hems...well that is the idea...they were jagged thus asymmetrical.  How does one use asymmetry to achieve balance?  Take a look at beckroy's layout.  Notice how there is an element cluster in the upper right corner and then her main element and photo cluster.  The distribution of the 'parts' of her layout adds weight to the various elements that brings the layout into balance.  While the upper right cluster is smaller the distance away from the 'main' cluster and the use of whitespace helps add weight and balance.  (Kit:  My Love by SPS)

I hope you are able to take the information in this post and apply it to your layouts.  Until next time...happy scrapping.  Be sure to check in often as I continue this series...next up alignment.

1 comment:

  1. Casey you are doing a fab job with these tips! I've been forwarding them to my daughter who is just starting out digi-scrapping.