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Making a Block Layout

Lesson 16 from: Design Digital Scrapbook Layouts in Photoshop

Traci Reed

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Lesson Info

16. Making a Block Layout

Lesson Info

Making a Block Layout

So now we can start building layout and I'm going tio start with papers and this time instead of the busier paper being on the bottom, I'm going to use a paper that's actually going to read a lot less busy and I'm going to use a darker paper on the top so let's use this dark blue and I'm going to turn the grid back on and I want to resize this whole thing down just quarter of an inch, so I have a quarter of an inch border around the outside of the edges and you can see that even though that bottom paper did have a pattern because we're covering up so much of it, it raises a really are really not very pattern paper and it's not very busy at all, so it gives that blue space a lot of freedom whereas if it was super busy, the blue plus the busy pattern would probably be a little bit too much I'm gonna add shadows all these and now I still need something to frame in these photos so I'm actually going to draw with a rectangle turn my grade back on I'm gonna draw a rectangle that goes a quart...

er of an inch from the top, a quarter of an inch from each side and a quarter of an inch from the photos so with linear lay out like this it's really important that you have um that you create a lot of the same space between everything because that's really going to ground your layout and make it visually pleasing if I have this photo over here and maybe this was up here it's not balanced anymore so we're creating balance with the space the white space between our objects and let's frame this off and oh great another one right below it okay, but they don't have to be exactly the same as long as we have the same white space between all of them then it will create that bound so I'm actually gonna make this one a little bit smaller and then move everything up because remember with the rule of thirds we want if we build from the center of the layout it's not as visually interesting as if we offset things a little bit so now that we're moving our photos up a little bit it creates a little bit more interest now what do you do with this bottom space? You could add your journaling you could add a title but I think I want to finish off the block iness of the layout so let's drag in let's put some stripes now these vertical stripes are going to give me the lines that I need to really anchor these photos in space the vertical lines draw your eye right to the photos so let's finish off this bottom piece and I'm going tio created, they want this tool. I'm gonna create a bunch of squares on the bottom, right? It's currently clipped. So we need toe pull it up out of this clipping mask area. And I wanted to be a quarter of an inch from the bottom of that blue and I don't want to be square. This is kind of square, so I'm going to move it this way. So it's more of a rectangle and I think I want four of them. If I had three of them, it would replicate the photos of on top, and I think instead of having the exact same balance on the top of the bottom, having four breaks up that balance so you can see I select all all of the rectangles and I a line whore, are distribute horizontal centers and okay, they are the wrong size s so all we have to do is coming here and pick this one, and we have a quarter of an inch, and so they all are going to be a quarter of an inch apart. Now, this one is a different size, so I'm going to actually reduce this one by a quarter of an inch, too, and I'm going to break my own rules just for the sake of continuity, and I'm going to drag them all and make them all spread across so that they actually still have a quarter of an inch border around the outside, but you really can't tell that that's not exactly a quarter of an inch and it we'll make it easier down the line. We could be super exact about it and draw the perfect exact size, right tingle but that's not how a scrapbook and it takes too much time. We're all about fast scrapbooking so let's clip some papers down here and I want to make sure that I'm using aa lot of the colors from the stripes so that I'm incorporating everything. Simon probably drag one from that's every color from that stripe. I already have a lot of blue, so I don't worry about the blue but let's add a red yeah, let's do this red, we'll put it up here and then right here I'm going to do a white it's not what you do with these paper blocks. Now what do we do with these paper blocks down here? We have all of these spaces and the pattern's create enough interest, but I'm going to add more to them and not too much more because I don't want the bottom half of the layout to detract from the photos, but this just having a bunch of paper blocks down here doesn't really finish off the layout for me, so instead of adding at heidel that's going to span the photos like we have been doing I'm going to create a title on one of these paper blocks so I'm gonna go back to the embellishments and there's a lot of great word art and kit so I'm going to start with award art that I already have lit up and then re cliff this down okay make this a lot smaller ok caution quarantine zone and then I'm going to use on another word art piece and we're gonna add chronic illness because it is chronic for him he has bad asthma but that doesn't make sense as a title to me very much so I need add one more piece to this title and I'm actually gonna use the off of it that comes with the kid and I am going to say caution quarantine zone chronic illness sucks it really does you know that if you ever have had to spend in any amount of time in the hospital with a toddler you feel my pain okay so we've added all of the letters and I'm going to drag them down and position them underneath this chronic illness tag so now it reads as a complete title and not just um random words trips floating in space so I can edit it sometimes the photo shop you have to be a little bit closer otherwise it doesn't select properly and sex okay now it's too big so we're gonna select the mall and we're gonna resize them all together and by using the blue alphabet instead of any of the other color elevates I'm actually bringing the blew up to a higher um level within the layout is not just the background anymore so it's incorporating reincorporating that blue I could have used any of the colors but I made that design choice just so that I could have the blue on a hired not just the very back of the layout as well, so now I'm going tio I need somewhere to journal I used the only place that would probably be appropriate to journal on this whole layout, so I'm gonna have to bring in something to journal on top of so luckily there is a journal card in this kit if there wasn't a journal card in the kit, you could always create another another paper block layer on top of that paper black layer and use a different color but I'm needs this journal hard and added my foe journaling and normally when I have a journal in card like this, I will make sure that my story fills up the whole card so I'll tell a lot more details and I normally would because I like actually like the visual weight of the whole card being full so you can see on my actual layout that I actually did do that filled up the whole card if you were to not fill the hole card, then you would have, like, this white space hanging out at the bottom down here, and you probably have to add things to it, and I wouldn't want to do that because I'm adding so much embellishment to the rest of the layout that were good, so we're gonna make sure it fills all the way up and these two, okay, I've got a lot going on in the middle here, and if I put a lot going on on these outside, one's too is going to have too much visual wait at the bottom, so I'm just going to add there's, no germs to the green, make it a little smaller, and then we walked away with a prescription, so I'm going tio had a little prescription bottle to poor guy, and now if I just added this one of these pills, it kind of creates a weird balance, so I'm gonna create a bunch like they spilled out of the pill bottle, and we don't want to look too aligned because they're spilling, so I'm just going to randomly place them around the outside, okay? So this is almost done now that there's so much visual wait at the bottom here, I'm gonna have to add a little bit more up. Here's, just to make sure that your eye those where they're supposed to or it's supposed to go so I'm gonna add this red emergency room tag over the photo to bring your eye back up over here to the red, make it a little bit smaller, and then it feels out of whack and not balance there's no triangle going on, and I love my triangle, so I'm just going to add one more thing over here to the side hospital stay. So I'm creating that visual triangle with my embellishments. Of course, down here is the biggest part of the triangle, so we're actually creating a triangle one tio three, but it really creates that balance that we needed, but I'm going to add just a little bit more weight over here, so I'm gonna cover up that red cross with an actual red cross it's a little bit bigger, and what that does is it visually anchors that paper strip as well, because if it were a real product, it would be like a puffy sticker, and it would hold that down, so we're gonna add shadows. This one needs a bit figure of a shadow. Not that, um, let's, actually do the paper shadow fellow worked for now because it is a sticker, and there you go. That was really quick and easy way to create a block, lay out the key to block layout is the grid making sure that you have in your white space part of the grid, you have even spaces that they are all the same, or at least close to the same. So that when you, when you have what happens with the white space, is that grounds the entirely out, and it makes it not so busy, because if all of the the spacing was messed up, I mean, this gets on my, oh, city nerves. I mean, this is ridiculous. The fact that all of the space wasn't equal would be distracting. So the point is to make sure that it's all equal. Ok, do we have any questions going on to a couple of very quick wants us? In general? One of our viewers is asking why you don't use tiff files. Why you use psd files, especially for your templates in your downloads. Um, it's, just absolutely personal preference. I know that tiff files are a little bit smaller profile site, but with with black and white templates. It's, not it's. Such a negligible, negligible different. I just say the psc files, and actually, if you do not have a photoshopped products, so if you do not have elements or photo shop you can actually open tiff files moved a lot of programs can't open to files so instead of saving two different versions I just saved the psd file clarabell is saying she's very intimidated by making the perfect selection of colors do you tend to choose your colors based on your photographs there again do you just use something that's going on be an aesthetic style so I actually don't and I think I talked about that a little bit where you can change your photos to black and white if it really doesn't match your layout but you can see in these photos that the the bed is purple and he has I mean everything's white and it doesn't match perfectly I don't worry ever about matching my photos perfectly I don't dress my kids to match my kids I just if it was awful and get this if this kid was hot pink then I would probably not use it or I would I would do something else or I would change it black and white but because I'm not too concerned about matching I don't worry about it too much water little discussion going on because people was noticed that you created the shape and then you clipped your paper to the clip clip I'm sorry you clip you clipped your paper to the shape why why in fact you didn't just cut your papers to the desired shape because what if you want to change it down the line? Like what I can do right now, let's say that, um I decided that I was going to add another piece of this strike paper at the very bottom of the layout. So let's replicate that my slight foes, and I'm gonna drag it down to a quarter of an inch. Now. Now I have tio adjust the size of all these boxes to be smaller so that they're not overlapping the paper strip. So if I had cut these papers instead of clip them to a shape or even use the layer mask, um, I I would have a problem with that, because then their destructive what if you want to make a bigger later, too? So let's say that I want to get rid of this up here, and I actually want to make him bigger. If they were this size and I had cut them, I wouldn't be able to make eat them bigger later, you could always make them smaller, but you can't make them bigger without re dragging the paper and re cutting everything. So I always design my layout in such a way that if I change my mind or if the design adjust later, I can go back and fix it. And then, I mean, if you're going to save a psc file, which I don't say my feces, I know. But if you were going to say this as a psd file, I would merge at some point and not keep all of these shapes. But because I'm not saying it is a psd file. I just leave like this until I save in print. That's a great tip.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Bonus Slip In 1
Bonus Slip In 2
Pocket Life - August Kit
Bonus Coupon - Sweet Shoppe Designs
Bottums Up Template
Layout Design 1
Layout Design 2
Layout Design 3
Layout Design 4
Traci's Photo Workflow Actions

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

Great series of classes! For anyone from beginner to advanced Photoshop user, you will get something from these classes! Traci is a great teacher and easy to understand why she works the way she does. I would highly recommend these classes to anyone wanting to learn tips and tricks from a great scrapbook designer!


I'm currently halfway through the courses, and I am so glad I decided to watch these. I haven't been scrapping for very long, and am mostly self taught through tutorials found on the internet and youtube. I found that various concepts weren't explained to me (how to really use a template, designer intentions, how to use other layouts for inspiration) and so I sort of hit a wall trying to get further in scrapping digitally. This course basically broke down the walls and provided me with so much info and inspiration that I feel really comfortable in taking my efforts further. Whereas before I was thinking that I might always be stuck with a mediocre result :) thank you Traci!!

Student Work