Design Principles for the Scrapbook Page: Lesson #2 Emphasis

Different parts of your scrapbook page should have different levels of importance. Without some variation in emphasis among the elements on your page, everything takes on the same level of importance, and the viewer has to find some way into your page on their own. When emphasis exists, though, the viewer’s eye is drawn to a starting point and then (with some good “flow management”) knows where to continue. The result is the viewer “gets” what your page is about.

Click here to open Lesson 02



Did you find this page via an online search or a link from a friend?

This lesson is part of a 12-lesson course called “Design Principles for Scrapbook Pages.” Click here for the complete class.


35 Responses to Design Principles for the Scrapbook Page: Lesson #2 Emphasis

  1. Mariangeles_Spain May 16, 2010 at 8:45 am #

    I read lessons #1 and #2 last night during my double shift :) Thanks for making it better :)

    Love them!

    I’m really using almost everything I’ve read in my projects :)

    • Debbie Hodge May 19, 2010 at 12:14 pm #

      Love that it made that shift better — and that you’re already using these principles.

  2. Flor May 16, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    Thanks to Mariangeles I joined these clasess and I´m learning a lot in a very easy and simple way!!!!

    And it´s for FREEEEE!


    Take care!

    • Debbie Hodge May 17, 2010 at 8:42 am #

      Yay! Glad you’re here. All of the lessons should be packed with good solid content.

  3. cristina tronco May 16, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    thanks again!

  4. Chris May 24, 2010 at 9:07 pm #

    I have done most of these but not consciously. I tend to look and look and shift things around til they feel/look right. I really want to have these as upfront tools in my arsenal.

  5. Sharon June 3, 2010 at 8:50 pm #

    What wonderful pages…..AGAIN!!!! Its great to have “put into words” why these pages work so well. Thanks

  6. Cal June 8, 2010 at 3:04 am #

    Thanks for this! I unconsciously use these ideas but it’s great to have them explained. The sweet spot grid is wonderful!!! It explains alot to me about pages that have worked -and more importantly those that haven’t !

  7. Meredith June 8, 2010 at 6:10 am #

    I found this lesson really interesting. It has made me think much more about my layouts and their composition and also given me some great ideas. Thanks

  8. Jean Marmo June 11, 2010 at 8:54 pm #

    Wow – lots to think about. I want to go back and look at some of my layouts. See what I need to change.

  9. Karen June 13, 2010 at 5:19 pm #

    Thank you so much for the detailed explanations and concrete examples of how to create a focal point. I don’t think this is something that I’ve ever really zeroed in on when doing my scrapbook pages. I have saved this information in my files and will refer to it over and over again from this point forward. Thank you again for providing this for us for free! It is so much appreciated!

  10. Dulce Silva June 27, 2010 at 4:25 am #

    Hello Debbie (can I call you only Debbie?),
    I’m really enjoying these lesson, it’s so refreshing. Until this lesson, I can say I learn very much. Something you talk about I intuitively know, but know I really conscientious about (like placement) and I learn how to enphasize my jounaling.

    • Debbie Hodge June 28, 2010 at 9:13 am #

      I know what you mean about intuitively understanding something — and then making it conscious. So glad you’re following the lessons

  11. Cassel July 19, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    I am planning on deciphering those lessons, ONE by ONE, going through the few pages i made and see what i did and didn`t do. I will make a conscious effort to take each of those sections as a class with an assignment. :)

    Thanks for putting it all together in such a pleasant package!

    • Debbie Hodge July 19, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

      Yay! Love that idea — i know that sometimes it’s more compelling to stick with something when you’ve paid $ and feel accountable to someone BUT . . . on the other hand I LOVE it when you (or I) make that decision to just “do it ourselves.”

      • Cassel July 19, 2010 at 10:03 pm #

        Well, i did buy the “Building pages” and i am torn between which one to start with as they seem kind of similar in many ways.

        • Debbie Hodge July 21, 2010 at 8:01 pm #

          Hi, Cassel, the first 6 lessons in Building Pages build on each other and provide the design-knowledge base for lessons 7-12. So my advice would be to do them in order.

          • Cassel July 21, 2010 at 10:42 pm #

            I just meant between this course and the Building Pages one. Either one will be done in order!

  12. helen August 7, 2010 at 2:28 pm #

    thanks so much for sharing these lessons, I think these basis are helping me a lot!! bon baisers de France!!! ;o)

  13. grambie August 17, 2010 at 6:37 pm #

    It is so wonderful that you have previous links available for reenforcement. I know about these essential parts, but your lessons place each one in perspective. I am so enjoying and learning from each written lesson and accompanying visual. Thanks you.

  14. tape August 22, 2010 at 7:44 pm #

    I usually emphasise photos… On my latest page, which I completed just before reading this (maybe I should have read first, lol), I used size, placement and embellishing to do the trick. I often do one-photo layouts and I guess it’s easier there, so it was useful to see how multi-photo layouts can also have a clear focal point.

  15. Dana March 3, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    Like many of the others here, I have been doing much of this unconsciously. I think now, though, with the conscious attention to my focal points and what I’m emphasizing (which is mostly the photos followed by the journaling), my pages will have a better flow.

    Thanks! I’m having fun studying your thoughts and lessons :)


  16. Melissa S March 19, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    So refreshing to clarify either what I’m already doing (but probably questioning if it’s “right”) and what I could be doing to make my pages better for me! I’ve been just dying for a simple design elements class and this is perfect! Not too vague but not extremely intense! Thank you! I LOVE how you have the layout and explain what about it supports your example! That’s my style of learning!

  17. Angela R March 23, 2011 at 11:02 pm #

    I was making this layout
    with all sepia-toned photos when I got to this lesson. So changed my favorite photo back to full color. These classes are great.

  18. Maria March 29, 2011 at 8:34 am #

    This is a perfect site for getting fabulous ideas. Sometimes I get in a rut for ideas and layouts. This will definetly “jump start” me into action. I look forward to more ideas. Keep them coming!

  19. Thom Trybus May 16, 2011 at 4:07 am #

    I realize that you probably don’t receive a lot of replies from men, so it seems to be my first duty to explain my interest in your artwork. to begin with, I am a 61 year old artist fairly well rounded with some hard earned formal art studies, who is currently “obsessed” for lack of a better term with personal interests in various new (at least to my experience) mediums and materials. A person who, finds himself often combining at times a few art styles in different mediums and using interesting materials etc. for various cool reasons… all done quite experimentally, and actually with a fair amount of successes, enough so to keep me moving in these new exciting artistic directions. Your “how to” Celtic knot design really caught my interest, There seems to be no one else currently presenting anything helpful like it- thank you for the informative introductory fee lesson. One thing that I have been into for some time is Calligraphy, and various other lettering styles, particularly the awesomely elegant and challenging medieval Illuminated type, and related sophisticated monograms. I have been drawing quite a few of them totally in my own meticulous, reproductive art style/talent with success, but find your Celtic knot techniques and tips both quicker and easier. However I added some interesting textures and coloring to my version of your knot, which you seem to have left for your students to tailor to their own particular needs. How boss is that? At this time I want to incorporate some of those “Lost” art forms such as Illuminated letters, Celtic knot-work, and Art Nouveau ribboning etc. into a rather interesting and challenging older “adult” combined coloring, puzzle, and game book. Something for the sixty-ish and older (Like myself for example) to have to tinker around with occasionally, a real eye opener book that they don’t have to be ashamed of having to be “seen” lying around in plain view in their homes. Perhaps it might actually reflect in a small way just how sharp some of us still are if someone dared to peek at it’s contents… I am following some of your basic “scrapbook lessons” to understand something about it, and to see what other artists are currently interested in as well. Again, thank you, as so far my short perusal of your work has been very rewarding. You gals have a lot of talent and it appears a lot of fun doing these things. I think incorporating some of your “scrap booking techniques” into a sort of personal handy journal/sketchbook/planner for different drawing and design projects we tend to get into would be very fun, practical, and rewarding. I have a couple of extra blank page books I expect to start with, and will dedicate one for developing my fingernails through actual rough drafts, maybe even to mechanicals, and another to a quick way of recording various ideas that always come along occasionally, assisting such by pasting here and there helpful and inexpensively snipped “visuals”… As it seems true what Confucius has been credited with once saying: “A picture is worth a thousand words”. This is guaranteed to be a good time saver too. Thom Trybus, Mesa, Arizona.

  20. eline jansens June 12, 2011 at 6:38 am #

    Thank you so much for all these usefull tips and trips!
    All your pages are really beautiful.
    I’m only wondering how exactly the journaling is working, like for instance the 3 examples.. this is done on computer? with which programs? or what is the secret?
    looking forward to my next lesson!



  21. Beverly January 10, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

    thank you so much for this e-mail tutorial. I have printed out Lesson 1 and 2 and am waiting for Lesson 3. Really good stuff :-) Thank you

  22. katerina February 16, 2012 at 9:23 am #

    Thank you so much for the lesson they are great for me, and give lot of inspire.

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