8 Principles of Scrapbook Page Design

Scrapbook Page Design Elements


Every scrapbook page includes elements such as background paper, photos, titles, journaling, and embellishments. The elements used can be described using the following elements of design:

  • SHAPE – How we describe the area an item: squares, rectangles, circles, or organic (free formed shapes or natural shapes). NOTE: A positive shape automatically creates a negative shape.
  • DIRECTION (or line) –  All lines have direction – Horizontal, Vertical or Oblique. Horizontal suggests calmness, stability and tranquillity. Vertical gives a feeling of balance, formality and alertness. Oblique suggests movement and action.
  • SIZE (scale) – the relationship of the area occupied by one shape to that of another.
  • TEXTURE – the surface quality of a shape – rough, smooth, soft, hard, glossy, etc.
  • PATTERN – a regular arrangement of repeated elements (shapes, lines, colors.)
  • COLOR – Color has three main characteristics: hue, or its name (red, green, blue, etc.), value (how light or dark it is), and intensity (how bright or dull it is).

How we apply the principles of design, to our page elements, determines how successful the design will be.

Breaking Down the Design Principles used on “Art  & Science”

  1. FOCAL POINT – this focal point can’t be missed – Placed smack in the center of the page and larger than other images.
  2. BALANCE – Starting with a symmetrical pattern and creating added balance with the white mats placed behind photos on opposite sides of the page. This design feels well balanced.
  3. RHYTHM  – The use of a photo border across the top of the page creates rhythm as well as repetition.
  4. ALIGNMENT – One of the best perks of using grid paper. Everything on this page is in alignment.
  5. REPETITION – see Rhythm.
  6. CONTRAST – The use of white card stock helps create contrast against the darker background paper.
  7. HARMONY– The title and journaling on this page create a design triangle with the combination of bright text on white card stock.
  8. SPACE –  The use of grid to organize elements is always an asset as it creates lines that divide the elements in a calm and harmonious way. Using wide mats help give these busy photos, placed in tight proximity, a bit of extra “breathing space”

The 8 principles of design


The elements of design are the things that make up a design (or scrapbook page). The Principles of design are the concepts we use to organize the elements:

  1. FOCAL POINT is the center of interest, the part of the design that first catches the viewer’s attention. Focal point is an area that stands out by contrast to other areas. A focal point can be created by placement within the design or differences in size, color, texture, shape, etc. SEE MORE ABOUT FOCAL POINTS.
  2. BALANCE – Balance provides stability and structure to a design. It’s the weight distributed in the design by the placement of your elements – the distribution of the visual weight of objects, colors, texture, and space. Elements should be balanced to make a design feel stable. In symmetrical balance, the elements used on one side of the design are similar to those on the other side; in asymmetrical balance, the sides are different but still look balanced. In radial balance, the elements are arranged around a central point and may be similar.
  3. RHYTHM (movement) – The use of reoccurring elements that help direct the viewer’s eyes through the work of art, often to focal areas. Such movement can be directed along lines, edges, shape, and color within the design.
  4. ALIGNMENT – Allows us to create order and organization. Aligning elements allows them to create a visual connection with each other.
  5. REPETITION – Repetition strengthens a design by tying together individual elements. It helps to create association and consistency. Repetition can create rhythm (a feeling of organized movement).
  6. CONTRAST – Contrast is the juxtaposition of elements in order to highlight their differences and create visual interest: light/dark values, rough & smooth textures, opposite colors on the color wheel, direction – horizontal/vertical).
  7. HARMONY– brings together a composition with similar elements.  If your design uses wavy lines and organic shapes you would stay with those types of lines and not put in just one geometric shape. (Harmony can be achieved through the use of proximity, repetition, and continuity of the elements in a design.)
  8. SPACE –  to the distance or area between, around, above, below, or within elements. Both positive and negative space are important factors to be considered in every design.
Next: Color & Composition

Percy Principles of Art and Composition I enjoyed this: http://www.goshen.edu/art/ed/percy1