I’ve already covered a number of different options for using a substitute, such as an embellishment, illustration, pattern or alternative item, in place of a photo but one of my most frequent photo substitutes would have to be memorabilia. That’s what this week is all about. Often times the imagery on a piece of memorabilia works in a similar fashion to a photo in a design sense but you have the added benefit of actually getting them in your album as opposed to languishing somewhere in storage taking up space. The content may indeed be photographic in nature (like a postcard) but often will include other details, like titles of an event or place you went to (like a show program or tourist brochure). Be it photographic or otherwise it is often a great point of interest for a layout. In the examples I am sharing today I have ideas for using both brochures and postcards with additional bits of memorabilia and design choices to provide context. The first layout was made by intention of design and the second out of necessity. One section of my exchange album is all about experiencing the changing seasons and how they differ from what I’m used to here in Australia. Where I lived in Indiana had very defined seasons. Summer was for travel, swimming and outdoor fun, Spring was full of glorious colour and Winter was covered in a blanket of snow but no season was more of a show off than Autumn or I could say in this context Fall. It was also known as tourist season where I lived because it was the time of year that my area experienced a massive increase in visitors. Despite the impact that Fall had on the calendar of our area I never actually took any pictures myself, it’s likely I was too busy being involved in all those calendar filling activities. I did however have in my possession a quarterly tourist publication that was a brilliant example of the season and as luck would have it found some patterned paper along the way that was pretty much a photographic representation of the views I saw at this time of year. The memorabilia while serving as an photo substitute in this context also provides more information about the local attractions and some interesting tidbits as well as a snapshot of the businesses in the area should the viewer wish to take a look at it in detail.Luckily for me the brochure, and most of the memorabilia I acquired during my stay, was conveniently sized to add to a 12×12 layout, so for the left side of this double page spread I simply let it speak for itself. A title and some minimal embellishment in the form of an off-cut from the right hand paper subtly bring the two sides of the layout together . The right hand side however was to be filled with story so I chose to get my text on vellum and still let that lovely autumnal paper shine through. It was also an excuse to grab some themed embellishments that, lets be honest wouldn’t necessarily fit in too many other places, since other than these pages I don’t scrapbook seasons. Most of these are from a Paper Pizazz 8×8 Seasons Paper pad.As I said my second layout came about as a means of necessity. While I did take some lovely photos at Kings Island, a theme park in Ohio, I accidentally double exposed the roll of film therefore making all of my photos unusable. Total bummer. But a little thing like having no photos wasn’t going to stop me when I still wanted to record the memories – postcards and ephemera to the rescue. The starting point for this layout was the lovely saturated colours of the plastic bag and since this is a no photo layout I don’t have to worry about archival safety. The postcards themselves aren’t very visually powerful as far as colour goes so I needed to balance their lack of saturation against the bag and chose to do so by … This layout also sits next to another theme park layout about Cedar Point (again in Ohio) so I also stole some of the colours from ephemera that I’ll be using when I make that layout, so both layouts look a bit more like they fit with one another.Using memorabilia in lieu of photos on your layouts means using a lot of the same concepts and techniques to make it work effectively. Consider scale, like you might when using photo enlargements or close up pictures. The greater visual weight of a large item often calls for embellishments that are smaller in size and quantity than when using a smaller photo or memorabilia counterpart. However you also need to be mindful of the depth of the item as much as it’s length or width. Memorabilia can add a lot of bulk and physical weight to you layouts depending on the nature of it. You may need to consider backing your memorabilia on a thicker cardstock to offset some of the weight or manipulate or subtract from them to loose some of the depth and bulk. Taking your colour palette from your memorabilia complements them just as well as it would if you used a photo, likewise selecting papers with patterns of complementary hues, scale and designs allows for the image to take centre stage over its background and embellishments.What’s your big tip for using memorabilia on your layouts?