I’ve been drawing a lot of parallels this week between crafting a scrapbook album and book design, so my final thought for the week is to leave you with some ideas for considering other forms of front matter or end matter in your albums. Dedication Pages, Preface or Introduction Pages, Table of Contents, and Afterwords & Endpapers are just a few things you may wish to consider including if you feel they would add to your project and certainly all are applicable to the Photoless layout concept since most are generally a text heavy undertaking, with the exception of Endpapers that are more visual in nature.One of my favourite things to include in a gift album – be it a full 12 x 12 style operation or just a teeny tiny mini book – is a dedication page. It allows me, the gift giver, to express my intent and heartfelt sentiments about the recipient and explain what the gift is all about. Therefore from my perspective they are probably the most likely of extra information to be considered after Title Pages and Sections. Admittedly I have been more focused on crafting my own stories in recent years so haven’t made many gift albums lately but certainly when I started scrapbooking, gift albums made up the majority of my projects. (I do have a couple in the works currently but since they’re for family members who just happen to read this lil’ blog of mine I might just keep them hush, hush for a little while longer and perhaps share them next month.) Dedication pages can be as simple as one that says ‘For Patrick” in a mini or more involved and take on a letter style of journaling to the recipient as expressed above. I have crafted wedding albums, 50th birthday albums and friendship albums that all have this more involved Dedication page, the aim in all of them however was to keep my relationship with the receiver of the gift in mind when creating the layout.
Preface, Introduction and Afterwords follow a similar theme to a dedication page except that the recipient or viewer of the album is often the crafter (author) of the project, their immediate family members and posterity. Prefaces and Afterwords are indeed the same thing but just occur in opposing places in the album. They are written after the project has been completed and explain how the album came in to being and/or how the ideas for it came together. While Introductions being at the beginning of the album take a more forward direction giving the purpose or goals for the album. They can be written before the project has been crafted or retrospectively as if they had been. But as the name suggests they introduce the themes, ideas or reason behind the album.Certainly an uncommon practice is including a Table of Contents in a scrapbook album but it’s worth considering if you think that your project could be better understood or viewed with the inclusion of one. I will be including one in my exchange album just for the sheer ease of the viewer experience. Because it will be at the beginning of my album it will work as a dot point overview of the albums contents and show the breakdown of sections and their body of layouts by title. I have numbered my page protectors for both planning and crafting purposes already so it will simply be a matter of taking those details and forming them into a table of contents. I am however waiting for the completion of the album to do so because in the process of crafting it I have moved pages around, omitted layouts and extended stories as I saw fit and therefore want to wait until it is all in its final positions before committing the contents to their own layout.
Something that you may have cause to include in your albums are a kind of end paper to finish the album off. In book design the name refers to the double-sized sheet of paper that is attached to the cover and acts as the first or last page of the book. For scrapbook design I think of them more as the finishing page to your album. Most specifically the last page of an album after a double page spread. Perhaps you have crafted your album with a title page, a bunch of layouts in the body and then you are left with the final page protector or layout with nothing to put on the back of it. This is where an end paper could come in handy to just finalise your album. Maybe in a chronological album it is just a bunch of stuff that represents the end of that time period or like in our title page example an illustration, collage or artwork that just signs off the whole completed work. It could be the Afterword or as in a classic cartoon example something that simply says ‘The End’.Certainly none of these ideas I have shared with you today are required or even necessary to include in your albums but they can certainly add to them. They provide a bit of opportunity for a little more creative time when you just feel like playing with paper and not having a defined outcome and they can be adapted to any project you have going on in simplified or extravagant fashions. It’s up to you to decide if they are necessary or desired as part of your own creative outcomes.