April 4, 2011

Flow...We Made It

Good morning everyone!  We made it...that is we made it through our series on design principles.  This is the last post where we will be dealing with Flow (remember our acronym ECBARF).  I have enjoyed writing this series and hope that something here has helped you in journey to create layouts that you and your family can treasure for years to come.

OK lets jump right in there.  What is flow?  Flow is really the combination of emphasis, contrast, balance, alignment, and repetition.  It is the concept of all these design theories working together to create a layout that captures the eyes, guides it through your designs and to be honest...pleases the eye.  Since we have already touched on each one of the individual theories I thought it might be a good idea to take a layout from the Sugar Pie's PDP Gallery and point out how a layout achieves flow.

Our example is this gem from Ulrikaulrika.  When I saw this in the gallery I was very taken with it. But after thinking about it terms of ECBARF it made the concepts mesh together in my mind.

Emphasis:  In this layout both the title and photo are emphasized.  The size of the photo and the contrasting alpha colors help draw your attention, or emphasizes these 'pieces' of the design.  Also note now Ulrikaulrika's element placement draws additional attention to her photo.

Contrast:  As mentioned in the emphasis section the contrasting alpha colors help catch your eye and add emphasis...see how these two concepts go hand-in-hand.  But that is not the only example of contrast.  Notice how the bright blue paper really sets off the design...it pops behind the photo and against the background paper.  Don't be afraid of color...sometimes that extra splash is all you need to take a layout from good to AWESOME!  Oh and I almost forgot take note of how Ulrikaulrika has combined different fonts for a bit more contrast;)

Balance:  Moving on to balance now.  This layout is weighted to one side but that does not mean that it cannot be balanced.  In fact it is balanced using vertical balance.  Even though the photo is a bit wider than the blue paper block note how the orange asterisk element is used to bring the layout back in to balance.

Alignment:  When you glance at this layout you immediately notice that for the most part it is center aligned.  The journaling, blue paper block, and photo and elements work together to achieve alignment.

Repetition:  Ulrikaulrika uses color and shape repetition in this design.  Both her photo and paper blocks are rectangular.  Her use of stitching on both these peices adds a bit more rectangular shape repetition.  She also repeats element types with the buttons 'securing' the photo to the page.

Flow:  Lets talk about how the eye flows through this layout and why.

  • Z-Flow:  Ulrikaulrika uses a visual triangle to move your eye through her photo by way of the button elements.  This is probably the first thing your eye did when you glanced at the layout.  Don't ask me why...just except it and move on;)  Seriously everything that I have read says that it is a tendency of the eye to follow the triangle.
  • Next you probably picked up on the title of the layout...the colors grab your attention (contrast).  
  • Then your eye drifts lower to the journaling. 
  • Alignment and balance help control how the eye roams too...the key parts of this particular design are constructed in such a way to keep you focused.

I hope this discussion helps some and that if you have read all the posts in this series you are a bit more comfortable with your style, design, and are even more psyched about scrapping!  I'll be back soon with more tips, tricks, and some great Sneak Peeks;)  And don't forget to cast your vote on the Designiversary Kit contest!  Here is a quick look at the color swatches you can vote on!

Build, Destroy, Repeat Collab by Sugar Pie Scraps & Connie Prince

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