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These layout suggestion and layout re-do's were done as a part of Course 1, Lesson 8A, on Visual Weight. I invite you to be brave and participate by senidng me a layout. It is how I learned to grow in skills, with others giving me suggestions.

1. contrast - The cream glow around the text creates contrast to read the text. The black borders on the photo work well for contrast on the photos.
2. size - Your photos are large enough to keep the focal weight.
3. color - all neutral manly colors -- cannot go wrong there! The cream glow on the text is in three places so you have the rule of thirds working there.
4. shape - The arrows are shapes that could have focal weight, but with the photos so much larger, that is good.
5. texture - not applicable.
6. isolation - not applicable.
7. value - not applicable. 
8. balance - Although the layout is balanced as it is symmetrical, it feels off balanced to me. The background "sort of" grounds everything, but not quite. Your text is just floating on the page. Your layout is "center weighted" and would feel better being "bottom weighted."

I see that you used bevels instead of drop shadows. The bevels are almost never used in digital scrapbooking except if you are creating an element as a designer. The bevels do not look realistic. In addition to changing the black mats to have drop shadows, I would recommend adding drop shadows to the arrows. 

Make the focal photo just a bit smaller so that you can drop down the things at the top and leave some "white space" also known as "negative space" at the top of the layout to make it bottom weighted.

Your text may be a tad large as the yellow glow is trying to pull focal weight from the photos as the cream is brighter than the photos, although the cream is needed to make the text readable.

The cool texture in the background has lines it it that does work to ground everything (make it so nothing is floating by itself). If you know the skill of cloning, which I think you might), you could clone over some of those lines to help ground the parts that are not grounded. If not, the simplest way to ground is to have a mat that runs from edge to edge and have everything touching that mat, even if a layer is touching another layer that is touching the mat.

Your black stroke, for me, is a little too wide and is taking a bit of the focal weight from the photos also. I couldn't decide if it was the bevel or the stroke being too wide.

I hope that helps and I look forward to seeing a re-do!


Copyright Cheryl Rutledge-Brennecke
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