I’d imagine that like me, you spend most of your time creating a page on the design of the layout. Am I right? For something we spend so much time on, it pays to really think about it- and if you want your pages to tell a story- how the design tells your story. There are two key scrapbook design concepts for storytelling that I thought I’d share with you today.

Scrapbook Design Concepts for Storytelling

When we start creating our pages, most of us start to think about placement of the elements. This process is giving order to our page.

Concept 1: Giving Order, Saying Look Here

Here’s where we can begin to apply lots of “hard and fast” rules to give order to our pages. Studying design helps us create pages easily. It gives us ideas for how to layout a page and helps us troubleshoot when it doesn’t feel right.

Scrapbook Design Concepts for Storytelling--Week1Downtown copy

We get to control where the eye goes- and when you get it right, I kinda think it’s like a mind controlling power trip- seriously when you can control where they eye goes and which direction it makes its way around your page- without the person viewing the page even thinking about it- it’s really cool.

Scrapbook Design Concepts for Storytelling-Texas 'nough said

But being able to stay here is also about controlling the clutter on the page- whether it’s items that we group together to give order to (like the layout above with 16 photos on one 12 by 12 page) or removing stuff that detracts from the page.

Scrapbook Design Note: Every item you place on the page will either enhance or detract from your story. Which way would you rather use the space you are given on the page?

Concept 2: Conveyance & Mood

We are after all trying to evoke some sort of emotion and feeling when we create our scrapbook pages. Each element should lend to that mood- and not detract.

Scrapbook Tip: As you choose the supplies you’ll use on a page, ask yourself if it lends to the page you care creating (And forget about it if it’s just a really cool something that you’d like to use but it doesn’t add to the story. . . it’s okay. We love supplies but they should be loving our stories.)

Scrapbook Design Concepts for Storytelling- Turkey Season 2014

This is why you don’t often see me use many flowers! I might could have added flowers to the page above. Turkey Season is filled with pictures of spring blooms- but it’s not what the stories about.

When you decide to add something that doesn’t fit with your story, your reader is confused by it. Why is that there? What does it have to do with the story?

On the other hand, sometimes there are supplies that almost make the story- or at least they are so perfect it’s uncanny. These stickers actually inspired this story- because they immediately reminded me of my best friend’s t-shirts.

Scrapbook Design Concepts for Storytelling--Seriously Your T-Shirts copy

Now here’s a layout with flowers. I don’t get to do them very often. The thing is that you are trying to convey a mood. In this case, the colors and the flowers, and the hearts- they lend to the ultimate story here- which isn’t just about that tree top that’s missing- it’s about love and that special feeling that having a companion you love can bring. This layout is supposed to be sweet. (If I’d have stuck a car on this one- you’d be saying “what?”. Right?)

Scrapbook Design Concepts for Storytelling- In the Tree Tops

Using Scrapbook Design Concepts To Create Pages

One of the reasons my pages successfully tell the stories I’m trying to tell is that I use design to help me. But, you know what, it also takes a lot of the guess work out of the process. First, I think about how I’m going to lay out the page and bring order to it- and I continue to think about that as I build the page. But, I also narrow down my supplies quickly knowing what I’m looking for and what doesn’t fit.

I remember the days before I became so story-motivated in the process- I could spend forever trying to figure out where to place that flower and have nothing feel right. Chances are the biggest reason it didn’t feel right is because it wasn’t right- it wasn’t right for the story.

What design challenges do you face when telling your story or picking out supplies?