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Old 02-13-2020, 06:38 AM   #1
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Default Design principles for card-making?

As someone with no formal art or design training, who makes cards for a hobby, sometimes I really struggle with design. I would like to find a class or other resource from which I could learn design principles that I could apply to card-making. The closest I have found in the past is a class on scrapbook design that Noelle Hyman (of paper clipping) did many years ago, which I think is probably no longer available.  

Are there any other classes or books available that you would recommend?
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:46 AM   #2
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Design principles apply across many arts.  You can also search for photography classes and get the same information on layouts.
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Old 02-13-2020, 01:03 PM   #3
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I suffer from design creation myself. It can take me a long time to decide on one. I wish that meant it would be magnificent but it is usually just average. But it is slowly getting better-slowly bc I dont have the time right now to make cards-that comes and goes. If I could be plugging along it would go much faster. I recognize that and try not to get frustrated with how long it is taking. I admit I am very jealous of people who can look at a thing-a stamp, a die, whatever-and immediately get great design ideas. I call it having "vision". I hope to learn that too over time. 

If you play along with the challenges here it will help bc they will give you guidelines to work with. If you look at how others use them, that can be instructive. 

You can also work with pre-done layouts. There are many places to find those on the net. Look under "card sketches". It will give you many many choices of designs/blueprints. Then you just plug in the color, the topic, the stamp image or whatever.  

Having said that, there is a basic rule of thirds

Here is a link-it is from 2017 so "new" is not really new product. It has a lot of examples. 

ETA: Ugh the code glitch is screwing up the link.  Go to You tube, Sandy Allnock, rule of thirds. 

There will be a bunch more in YT too. 

I would advise less is better for bling until you feel more confident. You can always add another piece tomorrow but taking away is not easy. I love bling myself so I have to restrain myself often. 

Lastly, try to get pretty comfortable with one technique before moving on to another. (not expert but comfortable) If you jump around, it can get a little nuts in your head. You think you know, but then you go to do it and it does not work out how you wanted. Think of it like...learning to ride a bike. You see it all over, so you know what it should look it. You get on the bike and you go along a flat path for a couple hours no problem. Great. You stop. A few months later you come and try to ride the bike with some friends up a hill and suddenly...not the breeze you expected. Try the technique in different ways. YT them and you will see lots of ways to do most things. 

Once you have them mastered, then they are your skill set to choose from when making a design. Also the learning of them informs (at least me) about the design based on how they work if that makes sense. For example, chunky embossing powder likes to be heated from underneath so it does not blow off. If I only ever did regular EP, I would not know that. Also because of that, I may have to do it and then attach it if I am doing a shaped card-like a step card. I cant get in there from behind. 

Plus you learn what you LIKE to do and-and not! Before you heavily invest in a lot of supplies to do it. Maybe you will be in love with one and do all your cards that way for awhile.  

Hope this helps. I am sure others will come and give you even better advice.  

Last edited by wavejumper; 02-13-2020 at 01:06 PM..
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:56 AM   #4
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Two easy ways to jumpstart your design process -- find samples that appeal to you and figure out if it is the colors, stamps, layout, background or what is grabbing you.  Then CASE that element(s) and run with it.  Also the sketch challenge posted weekly on SCS will give you lots to work with as far as layout and too you will be confident creating your own designs.  Most of all, have fun and do not sweat it -- this is supposed to be a fun hobby and creative outlet!
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:59 AM   #5
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I second playing along with the sketch challenges here on SCS.  They post every Wednesday and, after 20 years of stamping, a sketch is still where I begin 90% of my cards and scrapbook pages.  Color challenges are another type that I frequently use, because I tend to use the same colors over and over otherwise.


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Old 02-14-2020, 12:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YvettesArts View Post
Design principles apply across many arts.  You can also search for photography classes and get the same information on layouts.

That ^!  Depending on whether you'd like to study design principles to build a foundation, or would rather get handy tips makes a difference in how to answer your question.

For anything design related I'd always start with Molly Bang's book, "Picture This: How Pictures Work." It's not a how-to book but is delightful:

Here's a graphic of design fundamentals (tools) and design principles (how the tools are used). There's disagreement about how many principles there are. 

1" black construction paper squares were used for assignments in a class. It was amazing how they could be placed to show tension, have movement, be static, balanced or off balanced, funny, etc.

Here's an article that puts some of it together:

If you're wanting shortcuts or aids, like others posted, sketches here or on websites can be used - or modified. Some sketches illustrate good design. I don't enjoy them but many people do. 

Selecting a couple card designers you like, you can focus on what they do - keeping a list of design principles handy. For example, Laura Bassen has a degree in graphic design, and it shows. How does she handle balance - is it always symmetrical or asymmetrical? What about contrast? 

You could pick one principle and look at a bunch of cards to see what jumps out at you as effective. 

It's easier to look at one principle at a time. In a glass class we carried small color wheels with us and if we saw a color combo we liked in a store or nature, we deconstructed it. Why does violet pop in that sweater? Okay, yellow is around it and they're opposite on the color wheel so complementary. That kind of thing. 

Bottom line: if you're more nerdy and an information junky (me!) or want handy hints, people here can help you figure out what works best for you. Good luck.

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Old 02-15-2020, 10:44 AM   #7
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This is a really old thread but it has a lot of design principles there. 
One thing to remember is don't try to apply all of them to every card!  You'll go crazy and we don't want that!


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Old 02-15-2020, 12:39 PM   #8
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Thank you all for your thoughtful suggestions.  You’ve given me lots of good ideas.  I especially like Beth’s suggestion to analyze cards by my favorite designers, with design principles in mind, to figure out what makes them work. Thank you!
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Old 02-15-2020, 01:54 PM   #9
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Sharon, if you ever want to chat via email or PM about any card’s design principles feel free to yell. Or even phone works. I’m not a professional, just enjoy this aspect of art and craft so would be doing it right along with you. 

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Old 02-16-2020, 08:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjeans View Post
Sharon, if you ever want to chat via email or PM about any card’s design principles feel free to yell. Or even phone works. I’m not a professional, just enjoy this aspect of art and craft so would be doing it right along with you. 

Beth
I am going to try to message you, Beth. I actually do have a card I’d like help analyzing.  It is by a designer for MFT, and uses their new “perfect fit” balloon die. I really liked the card, so I bought the die. Then I had a lot of trouble designing a card that I liked using the die.  I went through four iterations of a card, trying to come up with a design that I loved. Very frustrating, and made me realize I need to understand design principles better!
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Old 02-16-2020, 08:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SABarkeloo View Post


I am going to try to message you, Beth. I actually do have a card I’d like help analyzing.  It is by a designer for MFT, and uses their new “perfect fit” balloon die. I really liked the card, so I bought the die. Then I had a lot of trouble designing a card that I liked using the die.  I went through four iterations of a card, trying to come up with a design that I loved. Very frustrating, and made me realize I need to understand design principles better!

Neat. Email (by using the drop-down menu under my name) might work better than PMing since it’s easier to copy/past photos. Your call though.I see the die and cards. I think one of the cards works really well!
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Old Yesterday, 09:54 AM   #12
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Sharon, I too have this problem but I have attempted to solve it by 2 methods.  I save my completed cards to my Pinterest account boards (by company) but also pin cards I like from various blogs (and could make with my resources) into several boards:  holiday, non-holiday, and international.  I scour many blogs for both stamping and papercrafting ideas.

I stamp as well as papercraft cards and more often I have problems with ephemera and patterned paper. Recently I held on to Paperfresh Studio's Indigo Hills 2 6x6 pad & the die cuts for over a year until I laid all out and saw what went with what.  I was so impressed with my cards that I re-ordered all again! 

I also find it easier to create with a company's paper and their ad-ons rather than mix company's products. Easier to find ideas on blogs as well.
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Old Yesterday, 05:42 PM   #13
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There is the principle of three. Imagine your card is divided in three horizontally and vertically so you have nine boxes. The four corners of the center box are places that are more pleasing to the eye to put you main focus rather than directly in the center. Also odd numbers (3, 5, 7, etc.) of items (such as rhinestones) are more pleasing.

Card sketches are helpful. Kristie Marcotte has the measurements for card sketch designs on her blog Everything is better in Pink.
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