Sunday, September 29, 2013

Well-Behaved Relationships: Before and After

Having different elements of a design relate to one another in a sensible fashion is key to successful card making. Anybody can slap images and embellishments and a sentiment onto a card, but if the different components don't relate well to each other, the result is visual chaos.

If you just want everyone on your card to play nicely, that's one thing. If, however, you want truly polished and refined cards on which everyone plays together with perfect manners, then you have to pay really close attention to placement.

Consider the first card, which is, well, not perfect, but definitely not rude either.


The three leaves (from Papertrey's Mighty Oak) are related to each other in a fan shape above the sentiment. BUT they are just a bit too far apart to be playing perfectly nicely and ever so slightly uneven in spacing, too.

Notice how close everything is in the sentiment (which is very well-behaved, by the way). To get along well with that sentiment, the leaves need to be closer together, too.

Closeness will make a nice, tight relationship and unify the design in harmony and goodness.

Compare the BEFORE card to my revised effort, which is much more unified. Notice how the curves of the leaves are a nice contrast to the lines and angles of the sentiment, but their more organized and unified layout feels so much more intentional than the first arrangement.

Now, a perfectly acceptable alternative to the right angles of my after card would be to keep the fan concept but bring the three leaves closer to each other, with the right and left ones at equal angles. Getting the angles completely equal, however, would be hugely difficult. Not impossible, but very, very, very difficult. Right angles are very, very, very easy with a gridded acrylic block, which I used.

I'm all about easy.

But then, you already knew that, didn't you?

stamps: Papertrey Might Oak (leaves), Mum's the Word (sentiment)
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: gridded acrylic block


  1. no wonder I'm a design mess; I like the first card better! go figure.

  2. LOL, Joan! You're not a design mess. The first card is definitely not bad, but the second is more intentional and cleanER.

  3. You have a great eye Susan and I love how you show variations. The first one is a nice stamped card. The second one looks like it could be a printed Hallmark card. Both very nice.

  4. Beautiful cards - Thank you for the examples to compare!

  5. Love your tutorials, Susan. I always learn something, though sometimes it's something I already "knew", but had never really thought about!

  6. It's great to have the 'why' something 'feels' better to look at, Susan ... thank you! These are both such delightful cards ... now I understand why the second is even more so! Anita :)

  7. I actually like the first card better too. To me, it looks like falling leaves... and the second card looks like a turkey butt! LOL :)


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