Saturday, July 30, 2022

A Design Lesson: Before and After

Because I'm a minimalist, my design process explores this question: "What's the least I can do to make something interesting?" I love smaller designs with lots and lots of white space, but sometimes, the design needs tweaking to make it work. 

Take, for instance, this first effort, which ended up being rather meh. 


There are two problems here. First, the stamped area is a bit too low on the card and looks crowded into the bottom right corner. This makes the stamped area appear quite small with so much white space above it, weighing it down. It also doesn't take advantage of the rule of thirds, with the sentiment just too low on the card to feel easy on the eye.

Second, the spots of color are too small, and the two smaller dots--different stamps from the same Simon Says Stamp set--are too close in size. 

So here's the fix: a smaller stamped panel (with wider white-on-white mat) and larger dots with three distinct sizes. The sentiment isn't quite at the one-third line of the design, but it's closer, and the spots of color are much bigger and better balanced. This design can breathe!

So just because a design doesn't work the first time, don't give up!

Bonus Dog Pictures

Cooper demanding an apple slice

Lily trying to choke herself

Mercy, grace, peace, and love, 


  1. You have a great way of explaining this. Thank you!! Love the pup pics.

  2. Thank you for explaining the changes and why you did them, I thought the first was just fine but yes, #2 is better! As for the dogs, you must have to vacuum multiple times each day.

  3. That was really interesting...I tried to figure out what was a little off with the first version without reading your solution! I thought the dots were wrong & it was too low on the card...AND turns out, I was right! However, I wouldn't have known to use bigger dots, which really helped. Love these "before and afters" ....really helps!


Thank you so much for taking time to comment!