Words not Photos

Have you ever thought of using text as a design element in place of photos? I don’t claim to be a typographic whiz or anything more than an amateur dabbler in the world of typography but I do appreciate good design. There is no doubt that there is a plethora of great design and fonts out there when it comes to scrapbooking products. Whether you’re into Heidi Swapp’s handwriting or the painterly style of Kal Barteski’s Brush Script for Studio Calico or their Project Life counterparts the Inspire Edition by Vanessa Perry and Heidi’s own Dreamy collection. Perhaps you’re more into the graphic design look of Ali Edwards work or the queen of classic font style Cathy Zielske, whatever your preference you’ve surely used a text embellishment or two on many a layout or pocket page spread before. But what about letting your text take centre stage on a Photoless Layout?20150520_1WordsNotPhotosMy layout here was inspired by this weeks focus of Memorabilia. If you’ve got kids in school you probably have a bunch of text based  memorabilia that you want to scrap somehow. We’ve really only just started our school journey around here, but I’d like to at least make a start of getting some school stuff in albums before I become swamped with my kids school work (as a lot of you out there can attest to) and forget what year something was made or which kid made what. Beginning with this little booklet my son brought home earlier in the year. Not only did I get to scrap one of the first things my son bought home from Kinder but I also got to share a funny little conversation between us that could have been rather embarrassing given the context. I haven’t scrapbooked a lot of the interactions and conversations between my boys and I, they’re such a great marker of personality and relationship over time and what seems so normal and everyday now that they’re small is sure to become one of those things I look back on with nostalgia when they’re teenagers full of attitude.

20150520_4WordsNotPhotosSpeaking of a great marker of personality, one of the reasons I wanted to include this booklet on a layout was to capture some of Davids handwriting and scholastic ability, like colouring skills and word recognition etc. Maybe you have samples of other people’s handwriting you want to preserve, like a sweet reminder note from your husband or the way your mother writes her name (I so wanted my mothers signature when I was young that I used to copy it over & over just so I could make and elegant J like she did). Maybe your own style of handwriting has evolved over time and you’d like to do a layout that compares and contrasts the differences. Or maybe you’ve hit the jackpot and have handwritten letters from loved ones to one another or other family stories that you want to preserve. Make these types of things a feature of a layout. Memorializing text documents on your layouts doesn’t have to be limited to the handwritten word either, think a letter of acceptance to university or another program that you’ve worked hard to attain. A speech, quote or lyric whose words resonant with you for some reason, this one is a particular favourite of mine by Marianne Williamson which I included in my 2014 One Little Word album. The current trend for gallery wall prints and the like is a great example of the power and importance that some words have in our story.20150520_3WordsNotPhotosThere are no shortage of text based product out there to support a text focused layout and contribute to the story. As in this layout my titling, journaling and embellishing make text and typography feature in every part of this design, it’s probably one of the easiest design choices to find. From text papers to tiny word stickers to all manner of phrase die-cuts or whatever your heart desires, text based supplies abound. My layout has a decidedly studious theme that is complimented by the use of a sans serif font for the titling, text based embellishments, and dictionary style tissue paper used for in the background – it’s classic and easy to read, much like a school text book. The Kaisercraft paper from the Class of 87′ collection on which I wrote my journaling has the look of a handwriting practice sheet complete with dotted words to copy just like in school. Even my own choice of ‘font style’ uses the printed version of my handwriting as opposed to my usual cursive to further support the look I am going for. Even the bookplates, pencil embellishments and book motif support this emphasis on text.20150520_2WordsNotPhotosSo how else could you interpret a text based layout design? You likely have all you need for a words not photos style layout already waiting in your stash, think alphas, quotes, journaling cards, travel ephemera and text heavy patterned papers. You can likely create whatever look you want, whether you want a look that’s classic, clashing, funky or feminine. Classic style lends itself to sans serif fonts; evenly space lettering styles; journaling with a justified alignment, in columns; black, white and neutral tones. Maybe you want to send a different message with your use of text, what do you think of when you see graffiti-style type or tattoo text; how does it make you feel when words are expressed surrounded by ink-splodges or blurred or smudged. Certain styles and fonts can add a retro vibe or a jazzy element to your layout – gold foil Thickers in a classic font are going to convey a very different message on a layout than would say a multi-coloured bright Alpha.  Feminine style makes you think, scripted swirling, flourishing things; cursive text or brush-script surrounded by florals and pastel shades. The possibiliteis are endless for expressing yourself through text, use printed media, typographic works, subway art or make your own with handlettering, font mash-ups, brushscript and digi art to add a unique element to your layouts. This is definitley a case where a little Pinsperation goes a long way. Check out different types of graphic work to inspire your next layout.

If your looking for specific resources Ali Edwards new class Type and Brian Tippets book for CK ‘Get Creative with Type‘ are a couple of great typographic resources specifically with a scrapbooker focus. If your looking for a more classic typographic style then just about anything made by Cathy Zielske will give you some pointers on that. Checking out design books from your local library or graphic design boards on Pinterest or blogs are another great starting point if you want just want to dabble and get your feet wet.

What are your favourite type techniques?


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