Hello! Tiffany Tillman here and I’m back for yet another Keeping It Real topic. Today I’ll take you behind the scenes into one of my most recent layouts That Wild Hair. Why you ask? Because I want to share how I think through a complete layout from start to finish. I will rip one of my layouts apart, look at the individual components and discuss why each part was necessary. That’s what keeping it real is all about. Shall we?
Every layout requires a background. I chose a finely textured white to contrast the chosen kits busy papers and elements.
My scrapbook style borders chameleon: I mix linear characteristics with brushwork and object clusters. For this reason, I often use some type of grid, column, or row arrangement to serve as the foundation for my page. Relying on a linear foundation helps my freestyle components stay organized.
In this piece, the two rows at top serve as foundation support with multiple functions. What jumps out first is the long strip of red, which contrasts with the stark white background. It immediately creates a dramatic effect. Next is the pattern stripe. Stripes always pull your eyes in a particular direction, in this case down. Taken in whole, the position of the rows provides the backdrop of the page while limiting the placement options for the remaining content. So what does all of that mean?
Because I’ve chosen to set my contrast and support areas at top, I’m locked into a top-heavy design. Keep this in mind going forward.
I am a huge fan of brushwork, the more the merrier. The first screenshot above features just three brushes as the kit designer did most of the work. I smacked the larger mask near the foundation support and added two smaller flourishes from the kit on the left and right sides of the larger mask. The smaller flourishes simply add variation.
The second screenshot depicts in addition of two larger floral brushes. I clipped a dramatic red patterned paper to each. Introducing the floral brushes on both sides of the larger mask creates a frame of brushwork.
The third screenshot shows all of my pieces together thus far. The foundation support plus the frame of brushwork creates the perfect “home” for my photos. Time to add them next along with my text elements.
Photos & Text
I plop my photos within the frame of brushwork. But where should I place my title and journaling? The options are unlimited because I could place them near the foundational support, over the photos, to the right of the photos, or under the photos.
I placed all of my text elements below the focal point of photos and brushwork for a few reasons. First to balance out the top-heavy design. Something has to pull my eyes toward the bottom of the page or else I’d risk getting stuck on the photos and never reading the story.
And second, placing the text elements in the stark white area improves legibility. It’s easy to read my story, which is important to me. The story helps support the photos.
All that’s left is the elements. My singular purpose in using elements is to support and anchor the other parts of my layouts. The strips of paper offer the final foundation to the photos. The epoxy paperclip holds each piece together. The brackets anchor down my photos. And the staples clamp the brackets down to the entire layout.
Does my process make sense when it all comes together? I certainly hope so. I also hope, by “keeping it real” with you, my process will help as you think through your next layout.
Until the next Keeping it Real tutorial – Happy Scrappin!
Materials “Scarlet Letter” digital kit by Basic Grey • “Stuffy Template #2” by Tiffany Tillman • Border, Staples by Tiffany Tillman • Teletype & Dominique fonts