Design Principles for the Scrapbook Page: Lesson #5 Contrast

To this point, we’ve covered three principles of design: Emphasis, Repetition, and Alignment. Today’s lesson is about Contrast.

Click here to read lesson 5

Contrasts are at the heart of what makes a page “pop” and draw the eye. Take a look at your pages – surely you’ve been incorporating contrasts. What are you go-to techniques? Mine are usually a good mat or frame for my photo and a high-contrast title. Tell me about yours.


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.


13 Responses to Design Principles for the Scrapbook Page: Lesson #5 Contrast

  1. Glenys July 22, 2010 at 11:08 pm #

    Hi Debbie, Thank you for all the time you have spent to create these lessons, very very helpful.. I am saving them in a folder for future reference as well.
    I have not incorporated a go-to technique before – but from now on i shall.
    my thanks


  2. grambie August 20, 2010 at 9:40 pm #

    Debbi, I thank you for another interesting and learning session. I appreciate the reinforcement of known design tips that I have not utilized to the fullest, but am now determined to carry through. I definitely will have to print each lesson, and keep them handy beside my computer.

  3. Debbie Hodge August 24, 2010 at 10:37 pm #

    You are both very welcome. I’m working on getting all of these lessons into a pdf that you can read on your computer or ipad or that you can print and bind.

  4. PatriciaD August 29, 2010 at 1:12 pm #

    I love the first thing in the article about placing the physical page on the floor or zooming out if you’re on the computer to get a different perspective. It really helps you focus on the whole rather than individual parts.

    You put so much work into these lessons and though I haven’t had time to read the whole thing now I am also saving it for later reading…I only get moments at a time on-line. THANK YOU!! Very much appreciated.

  5. tape August 31, 2010 at 6:24 pm #

    I like to leave lots of white space around a photo for contrast. I’ll also often do contrasty titles.

  6. Catherine October 30, 2010 at 10:13 pm #

    Another great lesson – I really find the Los exampples very useful
    Thank you Debbie

  7. Thom Trybus May 24, 2011 at 7:38 am #

    Thank you for the lessons Debbie. For me any new learning is a real commitment to something that I first have to decide to like, enough so that I actually divide some of my time to do. Building on your cool suggestions and examples, I have put together as a scrap bookie beginner, an idea or two that tend to meld what I understand so far of scrap booking techniques together to help me express a current art interest, something which I will whimsically call: “Three-dimensional guy stuff art” for lack of a more politically or gender correct term. I have several bright and successful “regular-guy” buddies with a lot of interesting talents, who often benefit from little “visuals” cobbled together somehow, to help show occasional ideas they kick about amongst one another. Mostly well worn out telephone book and magazine pages etc. For almost all of them, and it seems typical in this tech-crazy age, reading any traditional lengths of text in manuals and actual books, regardless of how interesting the technical information they may benefit from for doing so is, doesn’t seem to come to them as easy as it does to me. So now I “Picture them” with two and three-dimensional multi-colored and textured items “scrapped together” to help illustrate ideas etc. to them, and they in turn bounce the “stuff” off one another what we occasionally need and want to communicate. This is sometimes done rather casually and in a relaxed manner over a few frosty mugs of suds. One of my buddies here in Az, now very seriously into rock hounding and lapidary work, has his fond memories of work-his actually building professional race cars he reflects on. His many memories of all aspects of design, building and racing are I sense, those that could be much easier explained to the rest of us nuts and bolts nerds with “Big guys scrap booking” (Woof-woof! if you will). And it much better allows most of “da guys” to also understand people like him and also types like me, an artist with fairly diverse interests… (most often necessity driven) ranging from when I had once been injured and wheelchair bound (for a while there) and used to make my own “coloring pages” and greeting cards, embellishing them with lettering and images in calligraphy, then peddle ’em all over L.A. to also learning the process of lost wax casting (small jewelry etc.) and building on using those skills, coupled with drawings (including multiple colored overlaid transparencies) to also design and cast difficult to replace machinery, automotive, and rare toy parts. (I tend to go off and “out there” at times with the artistic license thing) Your scrap booking lessons are boss… they make for an excellent method of recording otherwise more difficult ideas and plans that may be formulated and presented to others. I actually think that (sounds weird, but please follow me here… I begrudgingly studied the real old-school drafting discipline for six long years~) the “Eye-popping three-dimensional addendum’s” which I plan to accompany a couple of my preliminary sketches and thereafter actual mechanical drawings, will really help me illustrate a couple of fairly complex ideas I actually want to advance to patent. The best feature I like about a physical scrap book of compiled ideas and plans, is that I actually have far more “choices on sharing” what I want to with others. I usually like to have complete control of my work product, as it represents a lot of effort and time, and it’s nice to have the option of not storing such personal and valuable information on a computer if I so wish. I love this thing called scrap-booking! Thom Trybus.

  8. Lyn December 7, 2011 at 1:56 am #

    Debbi, thank you so much for all the wonderful lessons you have provided. I look forward to being able to get into them in more depth as time allows but have also placed them in a folder for future reference.
    As I am a relatively new scrapbooker I have very easily been discouraged due to my limited creativity, but you have now opened up a whole new world of design techniques so that I will never be stumped again.
    I look forward to your future editions.


  9. Luisa Kelly January 17, 2012 at 9:32 am #

    I am so enjoying these lessons. It is a lot to keep in mind, but I am sure it will all stay in my brain somehow.
    I have a good sense of design, but your lessons will help me to be more aware of how to create my pages.
    Thanks so much!

  10. Barb S March 21, 2012 at 11:15 pm #

    I am loving these lessons — they are so helpful and well organized. I am finding it easier to put the principles into practice and like to keep referring back to previous lessons. I was able to download the first 3 lessons as a .pdf file which is very helpful (I can carry the paper copies around with me), but can’t seem to find a download link for lessons after #3. Am I missing it someplace? I really like those links, so hope I am just overlooking them.

    • Debbie Hodge March 22, 2012 at 10:06 am #

      Hi, there. Thanks for the note – I’m so glad to hear you’re using the lessons! The pdf for this lesson is up now. Thx for your patience.

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