STORY OF THE PAGE: The year was 2003 and I had been scrapbooking like a fiend for just over a year at this point. I had my first digital camera and was amazed that I could shoot with no flash in low light and get any shot of consequence. Aidan was reading like a banshee—here she had a Pony Pals book between her toes—and so I shot away. One thing this evokes that I didn’t write about at the time was how Dan was really instilling a love of reading in our kids. He took them to the library every week while they were growing up. Heck, he and Aidan still go to the library together and bring home assorted books and DVDs every time. It also reminds me that the hours we spent reading to them before they could read on their own was worth it on so many levels. Maybe a follow-up layout is in order here.
DESIGN STUFF: This page was me being about as minimal and as hybrid as I could be. The balance of this page is asymmetrical. Why? Because it hews heavily to the right side of the page. I basically created one vertical column of content (main photo, title words, journal block) that all share the same width. See the implied vertical line they line up on? I tossed in a photo and a little home-made book embellishment that repeat both the cardstock color and the title strip treatment. I used on main slab serif font for the big word in the title and the journaling, and I used a handwritten font to create a visual read-in for the title. One of the things I love about this approach is the tension created in the title by using a) two fonts that are dramatically different from one another, and b) two fonts with a dramatic size different. The script font is about half the size of the big word in the title, yet both pieces of type line up on the same baseline. My favorite way to do this is create two different text blocks and visually line them up, but you can do it by simply modifying your text in a single text block. A generous leading provides a really nice readability to the whole page.
TECHNICAL SHIT: One of my favorite things to do in those early years of scrapbooking was to create reverse title elements on my layouts. People would say, “How do you get a printer to type in white?” and I would say, “You don’t! You trick it!” It’s simply an element with a color fill and type turned to white.
FREE TEMPLATE (WITH IMPROVEMENTS) FOR YOU: I thought it’d be fun to give you this design in a free template, but as I was working on it, I thought: I can do better. And so, I did.
1. The core balance is stronger. Look at the framing margin space. See how even it is on all four sides? When you do this, regardless of what is going on inside, you get a little consistency bump just by having this even, outer edge space.
2. It’s more balanced from top to bottom. I like symmetry more than asymmetry. I can’t lie. But the cool thing with this design? You can still ditch that upper left photo and create something much closer to my original page.
3. I like the little circle monogram treatment. The size of the cut out space is 1.25 inches, and the circle is 1 inch. It’d be very easy to replicate this look in hybrid form with those punches. Plus, it’s nice to have a little circular element tossed in with all that square stuff.
The template includes a How To PDF with links to the free fonts I used in the template (Slabo, a free slab serif, and Jenna Sue, a free hand-drawn typeface). The title on this template file is comprised of two separate text boxes so depending on the word you choose for your big word, make sure to line them up so they appear to meet where the small text meets the large text.