August 23, 2012

Card Design Handbook Week: The Asymmetry Challenge


Just like the cover says, the Card Design Handbook published by Paper Crafts magazine has over 280 project ideas and 173 tips to design like a pro. Those are great selling points in and of themselves, but what it doesn't say is that this issue has the potential to open up your eyes to the whys of good design.

I thought my partner in crime, Susan R. Opel, said it best in this blog post on Paper Crafts Connection earlier this week. Here she's describing her "aha" moment while taking a class on design at her local scrapbook store:

Up until then, I had been making scrapbook pages by feel, not really knowing WHY things looked right or wrong as I designed or what it “needed.” But through those classes, I gained the words and the knowledge for what made a layout look right. Terms like line, rule of thirds, focal point, and balance became clear to me, and I had a blueprint for what could make my creations look best. TOTAL affirmation. Aha!

There's a whole aresenal of the vocabulary words that lead to the why of good design in this magazine, and I'm willing to bet that you'll be reaching for it again and again as your paper crafting process evolves over time.

Now not to scare you or anything, but what would a challenge week in the Moxie Fab World be without asking you to try something completely out of your comfort zone? Indeed. That is why today I'm asking you to try the Asymmetry Challenge.

Asymmetry falls under the category of balance. As it says on page 33, balance refers to the way elements of a card are arranged to create a feeling of stability. Essentially, all elements are proportioned without one area overpowering another.

Hmm. So how does asymmetry fit in to balance? Aren't they polar opposites?

Here's the definition of asymmetry from the issue on page 39: Asymmetry is the placement of non-identical forms to either side of a balancing point in a way that the two sides seem to be of the same visual weight, but aren't.

Key words being same visual weight. Let me show you what I mean by example. Check it:

Sending Love Card by Julie Campbell, p. 42

Moxie Fab Alert: This card leans a little to the right, correct? The focal point (tag) is placed on the right-hand side of the plane with the envie and the Texas element adding interest and dimension. By adding three horizontal elements at the bottom which are anchored by the string on the left, it feels balanced. And note the role the repetition of the striped ribbon on the top right plays: it helps to achieve that visual balance we mentioned in the definition.

J'Adore Card by Alice Wertz, p. 39

Moxie Fab Alert: Not to assail you with right-centric asymmetrical cards (left-centric asymmetrical cards can be just as lovely), but I do love how this one uses the little paper strips and button in the upper left-hand corner  to create the essential detail that allows our eye to perceive the requisite sense of visual balance in this sweet Frenchie card.

Buttons & Banner Card by Teri Anderson, p. 162

Moxie Fab Alert: This card is beautifully asymmetrical in a number of ways. First of all, it feels a little left-centric with the rolled up twine in the background and the sentiment anchored to the left-hand side. Teri's used four completely different patterned papers, and she's pieced them together in a seemingly random fashion. And though difficult to do well, "random" is the signature element of asymmetrical designs. So what makes this card work? IMHO, it's the way she's used line--the vertical ribbon spool which is grounded by the clothespin. And just to be sure there's some weight on the right-hand side to achieve that ever-important visual balance--the two buttons, perfectly placed for effect.

Shall we jump right in? Let's get wet! And remember, I'm looking for a sense of asymmetrical randomness that is visually balanced in your design. Here's how to join in on all the fun:
  • Create a paper crafted project (card, gift bag, tag, layout, home decor item, mini-book cover, etc.) that incorporates asymmetry in an innovative way.
  • Upload it to your blog, click on the title of that post, copy the URL, and add it to Mr. Linky below.
  • Tell your readers that you've created your project for the Asymmetry Challenge in the Moxie Fab World and link it back to this post to encourage your readers to play along as well.
  • If you don't have a blog, upload your project to this flickr gallery, copy the URL to your project, and add it to Mr. Linky below.
  • Upload your projects by midnight EDT on Monday, September 24.
  • The winning entries will be shown on this blog on Wednesday, September 26 and will receive an "I'm Moxie Fab" challenge winner button as well as a copy of Card Design Handbook.
  • One GRAND PRIZE WINNER will be selected from the ten winning entries by the editors of Paper Crafts magazine and will be featured in the March/April 2013 issue.
Let's get wonky!

~Cath

PS You know what to do. Click HERE for more Card Design Handbook Week goodness on Paper Crafts Connection!

60 comments:

Craftilicious said...

Oh this one is a stinker! I am such a symmetrical girl that asymmetry scares the bejesus out of me. But in the interests of "growing" I'm going to give it my best shot......

Cecilia Hsieh said...

This one is a stinker for me too! But I'm going to give it a go to challenge myself!

Irit Shalom said...

Just a perfect challenge for me!

Colleen Dietrich said...

Cath, I want to say thanks for really challenging us with these design principle challenges! I'm about to upload to two of your categories, and hoping I got the design lesson right! LOL

Bethany said...

I loved this "excuse" for pulling alot of embellishments and layering it up!

Joyce said...

Another great challenge, and I just linked up. I am loving that handbook, and all these challenges are really encouraging me to put the lessons into practice.

Myoriah said...

I love the look of Asymmetry but this is a difficult concept for me to pull off. Thanks for your mini tutorial. I don't know if I actually will post something for the challenge but will definitely be playing around with it.

Kimberly S. said...

This is one of the HARDEST challenges for me!! I seem to be very symmetrical in my thinking. I really had to work hard at this one!

Dawn said...

Hoping that my card fits the challenge. I tried to make sure the asymmetrical elements balanced

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Design Originals by KC said...

Loved making this and it is balanced asymmetry! Thanks for offering this challenge!

BethW said...

This one should be right up my alley!Everything I do is asymmetrical-it is always pleasing to my eye.

Barbara said...

All of these cards are just fabulous!!!!!

pamela said...

LOVEEEE these design tips!

Amy said...

I find asymmetry quite natural normally, but when I tried to combine it with the movement challenge I really struggled! I've just ordered my copy of the CDH.

bjmartin said...

Well - I tried! I love learning these principles - need some practice implementing them!

Handgathered said...

Lovin' this!

maria f. said...

Gave it a go. Love the challenges.

Gwen said...

Fun, fun, fun! Lovin' these challenges, they really make you think!

Susie said...

Love these challenges!

Vic Lau said...

I hope I've understood the asymmetry concept correctly.

Cecilia Hsieh said...

Yay! I'm beginning to like Asymmetry!!

Julie said...

This was fun! Really enjoyed looking at all the other entries too!

Rachel W K said...

i love all these new challenges. its really going to make me think more about design!

Mirta Sanchez said...

Great good fun! Love this challenge!

Jackie Rockwell said...

I love asymmetrical cards! Thanks for fantastic challenge!!!

Cathy A said...

Beautiful examples, loved how my card turned out after following this principle, thanks for enlightening me!

Gayle Wheeler said...

Okay, I gave this a go! Thanks for the fun lessons, Cath.
p.s. I'm still LOL-ing at the first comment by Craftilicious. Hee!

Cecilia Hsieh said...

Third card posted!!

Helen Liu said...

Hi, I just entered mine!Please stop by. Thanks! http://tw.myblog.yahoo.com/stampfairy-helen/article?mid=11164&prev=-1&next=11160

Vicki Dutcher said...

I want this element to become 2nd nature to me rather then a struggle! For this alone, I am getting this magazine~

Catherine Couch Doucette said...

I love asymmetry! Thanks for this challenge :)

Marcie S. said...

As always, so much fun to participate in this challenge!

Teresa W. said...

I hope I achieve this ASYMMETRY challenge.

Carolyn King said...

Sigh! this book is so inspiring! still looking through it. Gonna try to tackle this one!

Carolyn King said...

Sigh! this book is so inspiring! still looking through it. Gonna try to tackle this one!

Lauren, Crafts by: readysetLove said...

thanks for the inspiration!

Eesha Kolli said...

Interesting card design handbook week :-)

sanketi said...

Thanks for the inspiration!

Isha said...

Yet another great learning. TFS Cath.

Barb King said...

I gave it a try!

Carole said...

Love this magazine, wonderful challenges for fantastic lessons.

JJ Bolton said...

Fun challenge and fantastic issue!

Amber said...

Loved playing along with this challenge! I just linked my card!

Jackie Rockwell said...

I think this challenge is my favorite but I LOVE the others too!

Vic Lau said...

I'm linking up another card. I'm really loving this challenge!

Marlena M. said...

Thank for challenging us with these lessons~ ;)

Greta said...

Having fun with these challenges--thank you!

Juilien Jiang said...

I am having a lot of fun to have this asymmetry challenge!

Laura Jane said...

LOVE all the entries!

kerenbaker said...

Great Challenge. Love how you're increasing our design knowledge too.

Jacquie Southas said...

fun to see what everyone is doing - I guess I am an asymmetrical girl, because my cards often end up asymmetrical!

Helen Liu said...

I am entering my third card!

Cat Craig said...

I gave it a shot, I am a person who likes balance...this was tough for me. Thanks.

Agata said...

I can't see the widget to enter my link! Here it is, will try again tomorrow: http://underconstruction-agata.blogspot.ch/2012/09/bicycle-bicycle.html

Barb King said...

Had fun with this one!

Jen W. said...

Thanks for these challenges, Cath. I actually entered them all!

Savannah O'Gwynn said...

Thanks for all of these challenges, Cath! And thanks for allowing so much time to enter!! I haven't been able to get crafty a lot lately (life is really busy!), and I found time to enter three challenges!! SO excited:) THANKS again!!!

Sally said...

I have really enjoyed these lessons on different design elements and all of the information available on the MFW blog. This is my first time to enter a Moxie Fab Challenge.

Bethany S. said...

thanks Cath!