If you’re in the frame of mind to complete a project in a short space of time you really can’t go past using a repeated design to help speed up the process. By taking all the guess work out of the design process you are able to knock out pages in a record amount of time and get your words and photos down in an appealing, cohesive manner. It’s a great technique for using when you want to show connection between the subject of your pages, because the visual similarities help the viewer read the layouts as part of a unit. This is not to say that your design has to be without variety or even look exactly the same for a few variations that Repeat Design can take to add more dynamism and contrast to your layouts.At its very basic Repeat Design means using the same colours, products, techniques and ideas to have layouts that look the same. You can make it even easier on yourself by using a pre-made sketch to decide on the design for your pages or come up with your own. This is a great technique when employed in Mini books or pages about or that show relationships between people or things. It keeps your focus squarely on the photos and words you choose, if you want some great examples this is often a technique employed by Ali Edwards in her classes and projects to great effect, in particular I’m thinking of some of the repetition I see year-to-year in her One Little Word and December Daily albums but if I remember rightly her 31 Things and Yesterday & Today classes are an even better examples of repeat design.Colour and pattern variation is really the next step in the Repeat Design process by using the same design but with different colour or pattern choices you retain the visual cohesiveness but produce what I think to be a far more interesting page just by the simple addition of some contrast between your pages. This is a technique I’ve employed here with the right hand side of my own layouts. Which although basic in terms of design demonstrate how a little can go a long way. My reasons for changing both colour and pattern were three-fold. Firstly since I am using the same photo – albeit with a different person shown in colour for all but one of the five individual layouts in this section I needed to have something that would separate them further to show a more distinctive difference between the subject. Secondly I wanted my choices to be a subtle reflection of personality and character. Thirdly the practical side of it is that I simply got to use a variety of papers and therefore use my scrap stash to better effect.Another simple technique for adjusting the look of your layouts while still retaining the ease of Repeat Design is to employ substitution of other elements on the page, switching out certain products for something else, while keeping similarities of shape and size to maintain the integrity of the design. For example in place of a border element, perhaps using ribbon. If your original design has a smattering of enamel dots, try using sequins, brads or ink splatters in their place. Maybe you design includes a 4×6 photo somewhere and a circular journaling block, why not switch it up and put your journaling in the 4×6 area and make your photo circular instead. Most designs that work, do so because the scale of elements is in harmony, if you keep things in a similar position and scale its easy enough to make substitutions and still keep your layout harmonious.If you’re looking for a bit more variation you may like to change the orientation of your design. When using a 12 x 12 sketch it’s as simple as turning your layout 90, 180 or 270 degrees from its original orientation and placing the elements in that configuration. When combined with colour and pattern variations or substitution of elements your layouts take on an almost entirely different look. It’s amazing how versatile one design can be when employing a combination of these methods. I prefer to do this with designs that are a bit more involved than the simple design of my layouts here though. If you want to take it even further on the theme you can selectively splice your layout design and change it up that way. For example splitting your design down the middle and either mirroring the design or placing one side on top of the other.Something that can be a bit trickier when working on the principles of Repeat Design is to make variations in shape because you need to be able to make sure that your scale and number of elements retain their balance. The left-hand side of my layouts shows a very basic way of employing this method in that it uses Repeat Design by retaining repetition of product choice ie. cardstock, and a limited colour palette of two colours, also by repeating the same shape over and over on that layout. The variation comes by using different shapes and configurations for my journaling on each individual layout. They still manage to maintain the idea that they are in relationship with the other layouts in this section especially when positioned next to their right hand counterparts but overall the effect is that each double page spread retains some of its own personality and interest just by making small variations in design elements.Can you think of other ways that Repeat Design could be used on your own layouts?