For us stampers, balance refers to design, and it can be a tricky thing to accomplish. Today's post shows how feeling your way to balance in a design can work.
How the Idea Got Started:
I wanted to do a word collage using Winnie and Walter's The Big, the Bold, and the Merry, but in the process of laying it out, I realized using words that are all the same font and size wouldn't make a pleasing design, so I decided to take three words and, after much fretting and searching through my stash, three snowflakes.
Here's the first--extremely disappointing--effort.
The joy stamp was first, and then I worked my way up the card. The problems with placement include that the largest snowflake is too close to the loop of the j; the medium snowflake is too far from christmas; and the small snowflake is both too low and too close to merry. There's an ugly white hole (same as a black hole, only white!) in the middle between christmas and the medium snowflake. Ugh.
Here's the balanced version, which began with stamping joy lower and progressed by leaving more space around each element and shifting things around a bit.
A few points to notice. First, the merry and christmas now have about half the vertical space between them as christmas and joy, if you discount the dot over the j. This follows the rule of thirds and creates an irregular triangle between the words. In the first version, there's about equal spacing, and the symmetry doesn't work so well, creating a crowded, awkward feel.
Second, horizontally, there's slightly more overlap of the beginning of merry, the end of Christmas, and the beginning of joy. The imaginary line down the middle in the first design disappears in the second, and this encourages smoother eye movement around the design.
Third, there are two triangles overlapping here: a triangle of words and a triangle of snowflakes. Both triangles are irregular (and thus more pleasing to the eye than equilateral triangles) and make the whole design feel more organic and random. Though, of course, we know there's nothing random about random designs.
Third, giving those snowflakes room to fall makes a world of difference! The whole card evokes the feel of snow falling, that wonderful winter image that calls to mind both chilly snowballs and warm cups of cocoa.
Or coffee, if you prefer.
The balanced version was bling-worthy, and the bling adds just the right detail.
If you make a card that feels unbalanced to you, consider shifting the elements around a bit, thinking about the rule of thirds (which often helps, but not always) and how each element relates to the other. Feel your way to a good design.
It's extremely satisfying!
stamps: Winnie and Walter The Big, the Bold, and the Merry; Papertrey Ink (large snowflake), Clearly Besotted (medium and small snowflakes)
ink: Archival vermilion and leaf green; Delicata silvery shimmer
paper: Papertrey white