Friday, June 3, 2016

Two Cards for Contrast

The more I looked at these two card, the more I felt they needed to be posted at the same time. They demonstrate the power of focal points.

First, the strong focal point.

This whole design screams birthday. A candle and a clear sentiment, both positioned in direct relation to each other, mean that at a glance, the purpose of the card is incredibly clear, even though the word birthday doesn't appear on the card. Blow out that candle and make your birthday wish!

Second, the weak focal point.

The strongest design element is the bold yellow knot...that definitely carries all the visual weight on this card. A yellow knot is "undetermined," indicating it could mean anything...though probably something cheerful as yellow is a happy color. The words might relate to birthday or perhaps graduation or another happy major life event, but they don't scream birthday. Even the little yellow starbursts and bling don't directly relate to birthdays.

So the second card, while clearly celebratory, is more flexible.

Whether you prefer one over the other, together they do make a strong point about design. Generally speaking, stronger focal points are preferable from a design standpoint, but I do like words, words, words.

And thus endeth the lesson.

Happy Weekend!

Candle Card
stamps: Papertrey Birthday Bash Sentiments, Polka Dot Basics
ink: VersaMagic red brick, Memento Luxe rich cocoa, Delicata golden glitz
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: none

Word Card
stamps: StampinUp Endless Birthday Wishes 
ink: Hero Arts butter bar, raspberry, orange soda, lavender
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: yellow ribbon, craft foam, leather punch (for hole behind the knot)


  1. I think the strong focal point is why I like one-layer CAS cards so much. While they can be challenging, when I get them right I feel huge satisfaction! I love both your cards, Susan. I am also a lover of words, words, words... :-)

  2. I love the candle card, particularly the candle. I have those Papertrey Ink stamps and I am not seeing the candle or the message. Am I going crazy? I love all of your "stuff" and your lessons.

  3. I've had strong focal point drummed into me so much that I feel unsettled by that second card. It's missing something.

  4. Great lesson Susan...nevertheless two great cards x


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