Thursday, September 6, 2012

PPC83: Rule of Thirds Challenge

Welcome, students, to another session in Angela Fehr's school of design! Today I wanted to give you a composition tip that may save you some time in arranging the different elements in your next project. Called "The Rule of Thirds" or "The Golden Mean," it's the idea that by placing the elements of your project in a certain place on the page, your project will be more pleasing to the eye. You're probably using this design tip to some degree, without even realizing it, because it is so universally true.
Card or layout, the idea is that if you divide your page into thirds vertically and horizontally, you will get a more effective and pleasing layout if you position the important parts (the parts you want people to see first) of your project where the lines meet.

In the image above you can see a grid with circles marking where the lines meet. These are the "sweet spots" you can choose in your project - one or two or three of those intersection points to draw the eye into your project.

Even if your project is a rectangle, not a square, the same principle works. You don't need to add an element everywhere the lines meet, just place your main elements at the intersection points. I've attached a sketch showing an example layout - the photo, title and embellishment cluster all fit
approximately along the grid lines.

Hope that makes sense! It's a good principle to learn and practice in design because even if you're not using it consciously, you probably are subconsciously - check one of your favourite projects and see!
I used the Rule of Thirds to guide me in the arrangement of the elements in this baby card. The ribbon at the bottom borders the bottom third of the card horizontally, while the button cluster is positioned where a vertical third meets the horizontal line (the bottom right of the grid in my first example photo). I also positioned the sentiment along that same horizontal border. The little button cluster is important! It grounds the eye, and holds it in one spot, drawing attention to the sentiment and the stamped image above it. Check out my web site as well where I've shared a layout using the Rule of Thirds and a little journalling about my first triathlon attempt!

Also don't forget to do a little shopping this weekend at Scrapbooker's Paradise online - they have a tonne of sale items AND a "Summer's Over Sale". I always try to stock up on embellishments when they are on sale so I can cluster them liberally!

The Rule of Thirds was a new concept to some of our design team, and they were all good students and played along - take a look at their blogs to hear about whether they loved or hated this exercise! 
Our wonderful guest designer, Dawn
(I love how Dawn created a great visual by actually dividing her card into thirds -
 such a great way to learn a new concept!)
Now this will be even more fun if you join us and play along! I'd love to see and hear if this composition technique works for you - and you could win 3 COLOR BOX DYE INK PAD SETS - I don't know about you, but I never have enough ink!

How to play:
1.  Everyone is invited to play! There are no requirements or restrictions on what products you can use to create your challenge entry.

2.  You have until noon on Thursday September 13 to link your entries for this challenge below.

3.  Please link directly to your entry photo or your specific blog post featuring your project, not a general link. We reserve the right to remove invalid links. If you're uploading to a public forum, then use the keyword PPC83 so we can find you!

4.  Please fill in your name (not the name of your card or the name of the challenge) as the caption/label within the linky tool.

Last week's winner is Karla Yungwirth! Congratulations, Karla! Please email Pam at and she'll get back to you with the details for your prize, and for how you can play along with us in a future challenge.