August 10, 2010

Get Playful!

Hi, Tiffany here again to bring you some design tips for making the most of the variety Liz offers in her shop. Last month we looked at Linear style templates, and today I want to take a look at clustering-style or "playful" templates.

Playful templates have much less structure, and instead of evoking simplicity, they have a feeling of unpredictability. Photos are often tilted or have skewed shapes, and you will find clustering and layering of elements (either a lot or maybe just a little). The embellishments play an important role - lacking the foundational strong lines of a linear design, a Playful layout's element clusters help anchor the page and give it focus.

Here are a couple of Liz's products that fall in the Playful category. Big Title Templates definitely have a linear appeal to them, but Liz also included a bit of direction for adding in some elements and clusters:

I think these Off the Page templates are very playful and happy:

Clustering is definitely not one of my strong suits, so it helps me to remember that the embellishments we put down on the page have a purpose - to help link and connect the text and photos in your page, which might otherwise just look like they were randomly thrown down. The elements might draw your eye across the page, or they might be fasteners that "hold down" your photos - giving more of a realistic feel to the page. Yes, clusters are pretty, but they have function too!

Here are some more tips:
  • Whereas "less is more" was a strength of the Linear style, "more is more" often works well with the Playful style. So try layering multiple background papers; or try placing even more embellishments than are represented in the template.
  • Make your title bold, funky, and layered - with fonts, alphas and even elements used to emphasize it. (A great title is a perfect way to make a template "your own")
  • Since layering is so fundamental to the Playful style, try to use up all those great papers you have. Use multiple colors and patterns - just go for it.
  • Shadows are important. When you are layering elements on top of each other, you want them to have depth and dimension. Good shadow work goes hand in hand with great clustering. (caits had a great Clusterified! post where she talked about how she clusters and shadows)
Here are a couple layouts I found in the Scrapping with Liz gallery at Scrap Orchard which show off the strengths of Playful element placement. They are both two of my favorites:

JennyMcD used a layered background and some great clustering to make this spectacular page called Sisterly Love. The clustering was not a part of the template itself, but the tilted frames definitely give it a more flirtatious feel, and Jenny really took that idea and went with it.

charmedeebob made this one called Puddles. She used just enough extra elements to give this otherwise Linear template a really fun twist. I love the raindrops scattered down the side which mirror the linear arrangement of the photos.

Happy Scrapping!

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