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While working on a digital keepsake book, I was looking for the “right” font to put the sentiment in the book. While it needed to be sentimental in appearance, it couldn’t be too casual as the book needed to have a look of having come straight from the printer in a very professional manner. So, I did what nearly anyone else would do, Google fonts, or more specifically “typeface and design.” In the process, I landed at one of my favorite sites, Smashing Magazine, with an older article “60 Brilliant Typefaces for Corporate Design.”

What I was looking for so much wasn’t a FONT but the right typeface. I needed the right look. While, the article is more for corporate design, the same principals apply to any design. And scrapbooking, is design, whether we think it is or not.

Design is more than just moving the visual from left to right, top to bottom, but allowing your viewer to feel the emotion in the pages too. Typeface helps to convey that emotion.

For my project, I needed to make sure that I wasn’t conveying too casual an emotion, yet not too formal. The balance had to be just right. I already knew that my title had to convey a sense of the ice and cold for hockey (the unusual “PlAGuEdEaTH” font for this) is my primary subject. But it also has to be “readable.” There are thousands of really fun fonts that you can download. But ultimately, whatever font you use, you have to be able to read it without difficulty. You really can’t pick one just because of “cuteness.”

I knew I wanted to use a serif font because my title was a serif font. Mixing fonts can make the page lack cohesiveness. Although I already knew that the “signature” from each sentiment would be in a handwritten font (I chose “JohnLennon” for this one), I didn’t want to throw a third font out there that lacked cohesiveness.

And then, I found a fresh article also at Smashing Magazine, “What Font Should I Use?” I really could have used this when I was working on the project.  But on the other hand, I really enjoyed this article. I found that for someone who is really a little lost on choosing fonts, it is a must read. The rules, the lack of rules and describing fonts as putting on “your favorite pair of jeans,” yep, that’s about it. I do still gravitate to that one font, all the time…

So, for anyone still a little confused about fonts and how they work together, I really recommend both articles!

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I’ve found a number of photography resources, and sometimes the find is a reminder and sometimes, it’s a cool new idea. Sometimes they are both.

It’s so much easier now with digital cameras. No need to print every photo you take. And really, you can fix a mediocre photo if the color, lighting, etc is off. Composition can be fixed some too. But if you work at that, you learn too what it takes to “do it right” the first time. Doing as much in the camera as possible eliminates the post production. That leaves you to do creative things in the post production – change to black & white, adjust the color, do an action, etc. For some simple adjustment, I picked up this link at Captivated Visions from @DigiShopTalk. While to some degree it is oversimplified on making adjustments, for some people it has to start with the basics. But, it does move on to some of the more important parts of photo adjustments: make that duplicate layer!

With digital cameras you can fill a memory card with photos and then delete those that just aren’t worth making the changes to. It’s freeing. There are few people today still using film, and I suspect that those that do are developing their own film at this point too since fewer and fewer labs exist.

Digital cameras today even in the point and shoot variety allow the user to do so much more than the old point and shoot cameras. It is hardly necessary for the average person or scrapbooker to invest in a Digital SLR unless they are going off “auto mode.” The digital cameras today allow for so many modes and off auto mode too.

In the reminder category comes one from Tasra Mar (“Real Women Scrap”) who includes tips in her tweets. One in particular, is how to get better as a photographer. Sometimes, we just need to be reminded to shoot a lot of “film” and work it. So today, I’d like to remind every one that your photos won’t get better unless you take MORE of them. You learn by doing. No huge revelation here so why am I bringing this up? Because most of us remember the cost of film.

So, get out there and take some photos! And if you feel the need to make adjustments, play with it in Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Picasa or whatever software you feel comfortable with!

Today, while trying to bring the inspiration spirits into my creative space, I decided it was time to visit the Basic Grey BG TV videos and see what they had to offer today to get me inspired. Just taking a glance through Basic Inspiration level 1, not watching the whole video, I was reminded of several things that I haven’t done in a while. I haven’t used a pen to draw, much less draw dotted lines or around a photo or journaling box. I haven’t used paper in smaller pieces as part of the layouts. Sometimes, it takes looking at manufacturer websites to draw inspiration.

This weekend, I started a layout, still in process, using paint which I haven’t used in a long time. We forget what we have in our stashes and generally use our “go to” products. For me, that’s normally a couple of ink pads, paper and some American Crafts Thickers. I do cut letters & shapes to add things too. But we need to throw some playtime into our creative mix every now and then.

So have you checked out some of your favorite manufacturer’s website lately? They have design teams to give creative ideas with their products so take advantage of it!

I consider myself a hybrid scrapper. While I do from time to time digi scrap, I’m usually doing it for a class or to do a project (like that family heritage scrapbook needing 8 copies or some ridiculous number like that). Mostly, I do it when I am “on the go” and it’s easier to take my laptop rather than all my paper supplies (think laptop bag vs. truck o’ stuff). It takes me just as long to do one or the other – making up my mind on supplies always is an issue.

However, I do accumulate digital supplies on my hard drive and I do use them in my paper scrapping too. And what I do find very useful is the information on digital sites to use in my paper scrapping.

Templates are one of the most awesome finds on digital sites. These little gems are great for fast digital scrapping and they are easily used for traditional scrapbook sketches. Designer Digitals brings the point of multiple uses of templates to the forefront with their post on turning a template, using Pattie Knox’s Speed Byte No. 021.

Turning a sketch, or any layout you love, to create a new layout is always a great idea. If you loved it once, why wouldn’t you love it again?

Inspiration is where you look. And while you are checking out the post at Designer Digitals, get involved in their template challenge! I’m going to need to head back over there for that template…

If you have not yet visited Debbie Hodge’s “Get It Scrapped” site, you are definitely missing out. This site has it all: classes (including the new Masterful Design Series), a gallery, sketches and a forum. I’m currently taking the Building Pages class, which is a self-paced class.

Why another design class? Because honestly, every instructor teaches things differently. I like my pages to be something I want to look at and especially want others to look too. I want to feel the emotion and joy and memory in every page. And if I’m just putting it down randomly and feel there isn’t something “right” with it, I know something isn’t right with the design. So isn’t it better to work on the design up front and make sure it is something I really like first?

While it is great to just scrap the way you want to, taking a class can bring a realization as to what is a GREAT looking page from just keeping the memory. A great looking page makes you want to look at it over and over and keeps the memory like it was yesterday. Bringing the emotion into the page from the memory only adds to it.

Then there are sketches. The most recent sketch is related to Halloween and includes a printable PDF for those of us who are paper scrappers and those of us who are digital scrappers get a JPG bundle. There’s also a link to the fonts used (LOVE Bleeding Cowboy!). I love to pull up the sketches when I am totally drawing a blank. While there are books of sketches out there, this is always being added to so you can always find something new.

And, hint hint, you can go over to the Paperclipping Roundtable, who Get It Scrapped is a sponsor for, and get a coupon code if you’d like for a class! How cool is that?

There are so many places on the web you can go to and find scrapbooking information and resources. I hope that you will find that I am accumulating the most USEFUL of these resources!

Over the last few years, I have answered many questions for others about scrapbooking and sent links and information to them to help answer questions about everything from design, to color to journaling and ideas for when they are creatively blocked. I hope to be able to pull all of these sources together and provide for everyone.

Hopefully, you will find some a-ha moments and nuggets in these resources to make your scrapbooking more fun and more productive!

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