Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Making Scrapbook Titles Work

By Christina VanGinkel

Not every single scrapbook layout will necessarily need a title, yet the majority of scrapbook pages use one. Having the title you choose, work as efficiently as it can, will depend on several things. Placement and size of the title for example, will have a major impact on how well the title fits both the size and theme of the layout, and how well it will reflect on the rest of the page.

The size of the title, how tall the lettering is, the width of it, the color, texture, etc., should correlate well with the rest of the page's elements. If it does not, it will be more of a distraction than an asset. Considering what you want your scrapbook layout to express when choosing the title and its qualities will help you choose a title that will really work.

Too often, when someone first begins scrapbooking, they just assume that a title must be placed across the top of each page. That is fine in many instances, but just as often, a title could be placed across the bottom of a page, up or down one side, even smack dab in the middle of the layout. If the layout is a two-page one, you might even choose to have a title run across both pages, or leave in off one of the pages entirely. My point being that each and every title will need to be considered on an individual basis.

With the availability of computer fonts, and the wide variety of papers and materials that are safe to use in our scrapbooks, titles can also take on numerous forms. For example, if you have a page that is about something in particular, say game night at your house, you could shop your local second hand stores for old games and then use various pieces from the games to create your title. Scrabble is a common one that includes letters, but there are many other ones out there too. You could even cut your letters from playing cards included in the games. For example, the going to jail Monopoly card could be used to cut out lettering, keeping the lettering wide enough to incorporate some of the cards elements, or how about a deck of playing cards themselves! Keep an open mind when thinking about how to create your titles, and you might be surprised at all of the ideas you come up with. Also, just because you choose one paper for lettering, does not mean that you have to use it exclusively. Some of my favorite titles have two or more patterns within. Try cutting the first letter of the title out of a solid or patterned paper, and the rest of the title out of the opposite, or alternate each letter.

Consider framing and matting your titles to make them as prominent an element as they can be. This will add dimension to the title, and add that extra lift that will help your title become a focal point on the page. A title that just blends into the woodwork might work on those rare instances, but the majority of the time, a title will be something that you want people to notice the first time they see your page. It should evoke in them a sense of what you hope they will perceive from the rest of the elements on the page, including the picture(s) and any memorabilia that you might choose to include.

The next time you begin a new scrapbook layout, or for that page that you have been working on longer than any other, for the simple fact that the title has just not been working out the way you had hoped it would, consider too that the wording itself may not be appropriate. It is too simple to go overboard, just as it is too simple to go in the opposite direction and be to blase about it. I try to conquer this aspect of coming up with good titles, titles that I will enjoy a year, two years, twenty years from now when I look back at them, by writing down titles in a notebook as I think of them. Then, when I am sitting down with a layout, and cannot think of anything appropriate, I pull out my notebook for inspiration. You can also buy books or browse the many websites that have cropped up about scrapbooking, as many have tons of cute ideas for titles.

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