Whether you're putting your kids on the bus, settling your high school graduate in to college, or taking some courses of your own, it's back-to-school time everywhere, even for us card makers!
That's right! Paper Crafts magazine has done it again with Card Design Handbook. In this home-run hit of a special issue, we've taken the basics of card design--composition, balance, color, and style--and shown you how to master them in your own paper crafted creations.
Do you struggle with balance in your designs? Are color choices challenging? Is it unclear what a focal point is? Have you ever heard of the "Rule of Thirds" or the "Sweet Spot"? Would you like to break out of your box and try something asymmetrical? How can you use repetition to your advantage?
Whether you're looking for a basic vocabulary that can help you understand what the elements of design are, a how-to handbook that addresses your trouble spots, or simply a collection of impressive ideas arranged by their particular strength of design, this issue will inspire you page after page after page.
And as per usual, here in the Moxie Fab World, we're going to celebrate this issue by focusing on a particular element of design in each of five inspiring challenges. I can't think of a better place to begin than with the most important element of any design, the focal point. Check it:
Wow! Card by Jocelyn Olson, p. 126
Moxie Fab Alert: According to Miriam Webster, the focal point is the central or principle point of focus. To add to that apt accounting of focal point, the Card Design Handook says on page 18 that focal point is defined as the main area where the embellishment or image stamp is placed. With regard to composition, it typically works best if there is only one focal point. In this best-ever example of focal point by Jocelyn Olson, it is absolutely unmistakable that the "Wow!" sentiment is the focal point. Even better? Notice how she emphasizes it with the directionality of the lines going inward and the use of color to help the focal point stand out.
Jane Austen Card by Alice Wertz, p. 18
Moxie Fab Alert: Clearly, the focal point in this card is the stamped silhouette images. They are supported by the sentiment which is stamped directly beneath. What makes this focal point sing, however, is the beautiful background paper that adds interest, depth, and a palette of color that allows the silhouettes to stand out.
Shabby Chic Birthday Card by Amy Wanford, p, 149
Moxie Fab Alert: Focal points don't always have to be located in the center of the card. While the main action of this pretty card is taking place in the bottom left-hand corner, our eye is allowed to rest on the beautiful patterned paper in the upper right-hand space of the card. And note that Amy has several elements that comprise her focal point: the bird cage, the rose, the stick pins, the twine, and the sentiment. But because they are all grouped together in one place on the card, there is just one focal point that draws the eye in.
Whaddayasay? Are you ready to focus on the focal points of your cards? I'm hoping that you find this introductory challenge easy peasy. As you create, however, it's important to keep this in mind: I'll be looking for cards in which the focal point is clearly evident and which all other elements of the design work to support it. That way, I'll know for sure that you got the message in today's lesson on design. :)
Here's how to get this party started (and do be sure and check out the last bullet listed. *Grin.*) :
- Create a paper crafted project (card, gift bag, tag, layout, home decor item, mini-book cover, etc.) that incorporates a focal point 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 Focal Point 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.
PS Be sure and tune in to Paper Crafts Connection where the Card Design Week party continues!
PPS Do you love our challenges? Be sure and join us for the Minty Fresh Challenge, going on now through September 3.