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The Principle of Scale
So, let’s talk about the design principle of scale. What is scale? Something you step onto in the bathroom? Well, yes, but what is funny about that kind of scale and scale in design is they both represent the “measure” of something. The device in your bathroom records and reports what a great job you have been doing on your recent diet (right?), while scale in design measures if the elements on your layout are in proportion with the others.
- Focal point recognition
- Visual hierarchy
- Flow and rhythm
Scale creates an illusion of depth and as objects are moved toward the front of your design they become larger. Smaller objects seem to recede and become part of the background. We need a mix of both kinds of elements to bring proportion to our work.
Proportion in Scale
Let’s touch on proportion again because it has a great deal of influence on scale. Proportion is the relationship among the elements found on your layout. Proportion is used to help define symmetry and visual weight and to create a sense of focus for they eye.
Adding different sizes or scale to your layouts in evenly distributed proportion brings a feeling of rhythm to your composition. If all your elements are the same size, it gives no depth and your work may appear flat. Simply by changing the sizes of your photos and/or embellishments you can create dimension through scale.
Breaking Down the Use of Scale in a Scrapbook Layout
Newport Beach by Erika Hayes.
Let’s break down how I’ve used the principle of scale in the layout above. First, take a look at the two sketches below. The sketch elements on the left demonstrate a lack of contrast in scale of size, while the sketch on the right provides a variety of contrasts in scale.
Notice the following about the sketch on the right:
- The clouds are scaled to give the illusion of depth.
- The photos are scaled to create a focal point emphasizing the center photo through its larger size.
- The grounding paper pieces have been resized to different lengths to give visual interest. Using different lengths and colors builds the visual hierarchy.
- Increasing the size of the title brings the title forward on the layout.
- Using the same principle of scale as with the grounding papers, resizing the journaling brings flow and rhythm to the layout.
Now, examine the color sketches below to see the importance of color scale. Notice how in the sketch on the right the green paper is larger than the orange and blue papers? This larger foundation adds depth.
Let’s review. By enlarging the most important elements on my layout, I used the design principle of scale to pull attention to the title and center photo. I also evoked a sense of rhythm and depth by evenly distributing the proportion of certain elements (the clouds and journaling strips).
For additional ideas on how you can use these same design principles for card making, check out the Paper Crafts Card Design Handbook, on sale now!
Take the Thanks Living Challenge
Now it’s time for you to take this month’s Thanks Living challenge by scraplifting a layout that demonstrates the principles of scale. You’ll find the challenge and a place for you to post your layout on this thread in Club CK.
I hope you have a chance to check out the other Thanks Living design concepts by visiting the following links. You can join in at any time—it is never too late to start counting your blessings.
- Introduction to Thanks Living
- Thanks Living Challenge #1 – Points and Lines
- Thanks Living Challenge #2 – Visual Hierarchy
- Thanks Living Challenge #3 – Layering and Clustering
- Thanks Living Challenge # 4 – Balance and Symmetry
- Thanks Living Challenge #5 – Odd Numbers
- Thanks Living Challenge #6 – Visual Triangles
- Thanks Living Challenge #7 – Grounding and Anchoring
- Thanks Living Challenge#8 – Repetition
I hope to see you soon at Club CK, where we welcome all our scrapbooking peeps!
P.S. I received a lot of feedback last month on how I presented the layout broken down. It seems many of you liked that, so I created two sketches this month to demonstrate the principle of scale; I hope that the breakdown works well. If not, let me know and I will try again next month.