The Visual Triangle - A Design Tip

with 7 Comments

Barb BrookbankWhen you are getting your stories preserved in scrapbook pages, the most important thing is that you are getting your stories preserved in scrapbook pages... did I just repeat myself? Yes, I did, I did just repeated myself. Hmmmm... repetition does create a bit of an impact, doesn't it?

If my grandmother had kept a journal on a cereal carton and pasted the odd photo (with flour glue) alongside the stories of her life, for me it would be a treasure beyond all treasures. It would be something to be saved and cherished and passed on to my children and then on to their children, and she would have never thought in a million years that that would be so.

But on the other hand, scrapbooking, as well as being a way to preserve memories, is also a way to express yourself artistically. A well-designed layout is not only aesthetically pleasing, but can also help to engage your viewer and keep them interested.

There are 'rules' of design that are used in all art forms — such as painting, interior decorating, and even floral arranging — that can be applied to scrapbook pages as well. Today we are going to look at the 'Visual Triangle.' Keep in mind that not all layouts have a visual triangle — it's just one tool that can be used to help create a well-designed, unified page. Placing photos or elements in a triangle allows us to see the page as a whole and keeps the viewer engaged by guiding their eye.


In the following layout, 'Beach Dude,' there are three triangles which act to draw your eye into the page and to move around in it — not wander away. The first triangle is formed by the three photos. The second triangle is formed by the three elements, and the third triangle is formed by the repetition of dark blue color patches behind the photos. I've added in visual triangles to help you spot what I'm talking about:

In the next layout, 'I Love My Dad,' a visual triangle is formed by the rusty screws, and a second triangle is formed by the tags. The fact that the tags are the same color only strengthens the triangle. All these things are telling you to stay right inside that triangle, even though some of the elements go off the page. And lastly, there is one more triangle — the type itself.

In 'A Prickly Situation,' there are four triangles: the photos, the frames, the journaling and the stitches. I've left you to draw the triangles with your imagination this time:

I encourage you to analyze some layouts the next time you are browsing galleries to see what might be going on 'behind the scenes.' And look to see if you can spot any visual triangles at work. And what about in your own pages?

Digi Scrap Tutorial: Visual Triangles - A Design Tip, by Barb Brookbank
Layout: 'Beach Dude,' by Barb Brookbank
Kit: Beach Bound by Eva Kipler, Font: Boopee
Layout: 'I Love My Dad,' by Barb Brookbank
Kit: Boys and Toys by Digital Scrapper Designs, Font: Julius
Layout: 'A Prickly Situation,' by Barb Brookbank
Kit: Escape to Nature by Eva Kipler, Fonts: DJB Tia Print by Darcy Baldwin, John Handy LET

Download a PDF version of this "The Visual Triangle - A Design Tip" tutorial.

Windows: Right click on the link and choose "Save Link As" or a similar command.
Mac: Click on the link to download the file.

7 Responses

  1. Louise
    | Reply

    Thank you for sharing your expertise – much appreciated.

  2. Pam Golden
    | Reply

    Thank you so much. This is a wonderful tip for a “design challenged” digital scrapbook lover!

  3. Michele
    | Reply

    I knew about the design triangle, but I’d like to see more design tutorials. Thanks!

  4. Hunny13
    | Reply

    How Sweet – never heard of it before, but will use it often.
    Thank you!

  5. Priscilla
    | Reply

    Love learning about design! It’s all new to me, at 69, but it all makes sense. Keep the info coming please!! Thanks for your hard work and clear explanation, so well-documented by the layouts!

  6. Bev
    | Reply

    Love these tips…as long as I have been digital scrapping – I still need to be reminded of these fundamental steps Thanks Bev

  7. Christine Smith Digital Design
    | Reply

    Great tip – I tweeted and shared this with my fans/followers. Have a great day! Christine Smith ||

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