Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Focal point!

Do you remember when every channel on the television showed diy programs? Everybody was painting their walls in zebra print and making tables out of front doors! I know i did ( oh the shame! LOL!

The one thing that every designer said was that every room has a focal point and this is even more true in scrapbooking.

Each of your pages convey a story and wether you realise it or not each page that you do has a focal point. When you or somebody else looks at your pages their eyes start somewhere first and the focal point is that starting point it also sets the mood or tone of your page.

Figuring out what my focal point is tends to be how i start my page. To find out what my focal point is going to be i always ask myself what it is that i want this page to convey. I have cut it down into 4 sections which makes it easier.
1. Single photo
4.Multiple photos

I asked some the design team girls to make a page using each of these points and see what they could come up with. And write a bit about how they did the page and give any helpful tips.

Okay first is Chloe's page. She was given the job of showing you how to use multiple photos on your pages and still have a focal point.


One of the problems you often face when creating a multi-photo layout is how to design an exciting page which includes many of your favourite images of an event without sacrificing that balance or style which is often much easier to achieve on a single photo layout.

When i began scrapboking, i soon fell into the trap of only using one photo on a page - pages with lots of photos looked messy and amateurish when i tried. But as my style developed, i've embraced multi-photo layouts - after all, it allows you to include some of those photographs which might otherwise not have made it into your scrapbooks. But how can you avoid the messy look?

One way of achieving a balanced and stylish multi-photo layout is to create a focal point.

First of all, the selection of the photo is important. You may have a number of shots from an occasion which you want to include, but try to choose a strong one to form the central focus of the page.

I choose the main photo on this page, partly because of the subject matter, but mainly because i loved the composition of this shot taken from above - the eye is naturally drawn straight down and into the photo from the lefthand corner. Ensure that your main photo is fairly good quality and print it out in a large size ( my photo on this page is half an A4 sheet.

When choosing your other photos, look for the ones that complement the main image, so avoid clashing colours or very different backgrounds. Print these out much smaller than the main image, and arrange them around the main photo in a balanced way. In my layout i have selected to include two on the right and two on the bottom edge of the main photo, both leading into the title section in the bottom right corner. Your images dont have to be placed straight - I usally angle mine for a sense of fun and movement, but try a few different arrangements before sticking down.

The collections of embellishments are used to frame the page and give the eye a direction to follow around the layout.


When i first started scrapbooking i used to scrap with multi photographs as i didn't want to leave any out. But over the years i realised that i was being left with some gorgeous one off photographs that i loved and deserved a place in my albums.

So i started to do pages just using single photo. I found out very quickly that i need the one photograph to be big as i had lots of problems filling up the page, and my photo was getting lost amongst all the journaling and embellishments.

I found that i need to frame the photo and make sure that it stood out more then the rest of the page so it was the first thing that people could see.

I made this page a while ago but i think it demonstrates very well about using a single photo on a page and making it the focal point.
The page is about some old photographs that i found in my parents attic. My dad used to print out his own photographs years ago in the dining room and i suddenly found that i had lots of new gorgeous photos to use. As the topic of the page was the photographs i picked the biggest one i could find to use, as i wanted them to be the focus of the page.

I made sure that when planing the page, i framed the photograph with paper,card and embellishments, in doing so it frames the photo and it is the first thing that people see when they look at the page. I made sure that the journaling and the title were smaller and not so bright so they didnt take the focus away from the page.
I use this method every time i use a single photo and i love the results everytime.


SOmetines a photo is just a photo, there is nothing special about it to the visual eye. Cameras can only catch the picture, and some of the time they dont catch the feeling or the emotion behind it. The photograph below is of 3 boys.

When you look at the photo it means nothing, but if you add a title like 'big brothers' you get the jist of what was happening when the pictures were taken. The title, if it stands out as your focal point can give people the sense and feeling behind the page before they look further.

This layout is done by our very own Karen. She has made the title of this page the focal point. Not only has she made the title the biggest thing on the page, she has also matted the title letters with pattern paper, which really makes them stand out. Using contrasting or co-ordinating colors will give your title a big boost.
The last page i have to show you is done by none other than Vanessa!!! When you look at her page the first thing your eye is drawn to is the journaling. She has kept the rest of her page simple and has made sure that the journaling is on a brighter piece of cardstock than the rest of the blue, making it the first thing your eye sees when you look at the page. And again it is the biggest element on the page.

Th most important thing to remember though is that while these tips can help you to achieve a balanced layout with a strong focal point, breaking the rules is half the fun of the design. There is no right or wrong way to do it.

So experiment with various different page layouts using your photos and papers before sticking it down ( take photos of each one if you are worries about forgetting your favourite ) or try sketching your ideas first to see if the basic shape looks balanced before you begin.

If you have any tips or ideas that you use for focal points email us and let us know and send us your pages so i can post them on the blog for examples of focal points as well!!!

Post written by Chloe and Wendy.

1 comment:

Maggie Lamarre said...
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