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Thread: Project Life design 'rules' help

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    SF Area

    Project Life design 'rules' help

    Hello. I have been doing an annual album for a few years and last year switched to a Project Life format. Previously I did very simple pages for each week and then augmented with pages specific to an event. So the books end up being about 100 pages.

    I love the concept of Project life - but I'm having a hard time not having my pages look so random and cluttered.

    What rules do you keep in mind when designing pages so they don't look to heavy/busy/hodgepodg-y?

    do you pick a color scheme per page or month?
    do you only put average photos in a small slot, or framed?
    do you make sure to use 'filler' cards and fewer photos?

    I really appreciate your thoughts, since I've really liked Project Life, but fear I won't like the final product and it feels like way to much work not to enjoy the end result!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    Good question! I am still trying to work out the answer (this is my 3rd year doing PL).

    This year I am trying to go for a more clean/coordinated look. I draw lots of inspiration for the gallery here and am trying these things this year:-

    - changing some photos to B&W so they coordinate a bit better
    - using the same bg paper for each month/season
    - using the same 'Week' labels each page
    - using the same font for journalling the week

    I guess I could suggest browsing through the PL gallery here and seeing what it is about certain pages that appeal to you. Add them to your favourites and draw on them for inspiration when you are making your pages.

    My Gallery

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    SF Area
    I love your pages for PL for 2014 - already in my Favorites! They look so airy and summery and coorindate so nicely with eachother. Can't wait to see more!
    Thanks for the ideas, I'll also take a look at the PL Gallery.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    When I clearly have a photo that sticks out I usually make it black and white. But, I try not to stress too much about what it looks like honestly... Project Life to me is about getting the little moments of life documented that would have easily fallen through the cracks with traditional scrapbooking. I could never make enough pages to keep up with all the little stories I am able to capture with my PL pages. I try to make it cohesive but I don't stress about it. I learned that lesson after the first year and they quickly became my kiddos favorite pages to look back through

    I think your pages look fantastic

    My Camera - 5D Mark III and Canon 50D
    My Lenses - 50mm 1.2, 70-200mm 2.8, 24-70mm 2.8, 100mm 2.8
    My Software - Photoshop CS5, Lightroom 3


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    I do exactly what Jenelle suggested this year. I am so doing clean and uncluttered! I am leaving the background white and add just about one color to the pages. I spread my photos over 2 pages, do leave some room to breathe and for journaling....

    My gear:
    Nikon: D700, 50mm 1.4, 24-70 mm 2.8, 17-35 mm 2.8, 70-200 2.8, 85mm 1.4
    Tamron:18-270mm 3.5-6.3, 90mm 2.8,
    LR 5 (CC), CS6 on a 17" MacBookPro.
    Member NAPP
    My blog

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    It's my first year of doing PL so I'm not the best to ask for advice but I am consciously keeping my backgrounds pale or neutral, I'm using the same product for week numbers, I try to mix pics up with some pocket cards just for a bit of variety and I always consider my previous page so that if I do want to make a change, I'm mindful of my previous page which helps me make the change with something relatively suitable and subtle rather than it being too harsh. Other than that, I'm going with the flow, doing what I feel is apt for the week. The problem I have is that my weeks are pretty mundane so my challenge is trying to make my pages interesting. For very dull weeks, I'm thinking I will use just one photo and showcase it to tell a single story for that week. Like Jen, I figure that it's the story that's most important, nobody's going to criticise my choice of paper etc years down the line but hopefully they'll appreciate my stories! I'm sure you'll find a way that works for you and remember that the beauty of this is there are no rules! YAY for rebellion!

    My camera gear: Nikon D5000, Lenses - Nikon 50mm 1.4 (LOVE!), Tamron 18-200mm 3.5-6.3, Nikon 28-80mm 3.3-5.6
    Computer: iMac
    Software: Adobe Creative Cloud: Photoshop and Lightroom

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Annapolis MD
    You can see all kinds of PL layouts on line. Some people are experts at adding a zillion elements to a page and still keeping it from looking like a hot mess. Other pages are clearly color coordinated and sometimes the photos are toned down or made into b&w or sepia so as not to interfere. Some pages have a lot of journaling, some are much more focused on using stuff, but no matter what it's the creator's choice.

    I like a lot of journaling and I want to include a lot of photos too so my use of journal cards, and other elements is minimal. I like to put a seasonal kind of paper as the bottom layer and a white or neutral paper under the images. For the most part I'll be using the same date card throughout the year, just changing a color on it to go with the paper. I've rarely changed a photo to b&w but it's always an option.

    Looking at your gallery layouts, I'd say you'd be happy with neutral colors and keeping a lot of space for journaling. That's what "I" see when I look at your style of layout. But you can experiment and go totally outside your comfort zone. There are no grades, no rules, and if you like it, Do It!
    My Blog:Cooking My Life
    What do we live for if not to make life a little easier for someone?
    iPhone6 is my camera!/iMac & MBP/PSE15/LR&PSCC

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    This is my third year with PL as well! I am so grateful there aren't any rules...I think I've taken two photos this week. EEK! I only do one page per week. I always have my two facing pages coordinate. In the last I've made more elaborate week pockets for the date, this year I am keeping it more simple. But I am also leaving things open. I can change week to week! My first few weeks I had just a few clusters and a pocket or two for journaling. The rest is just photos! Good luck!

    My Camera - Canon 5D Mark II
    My Lenses - 24-70mm f/2.8, 50 mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.8, 100mm f/2.8
    My Platform - iMac
    My Software - Photoshop CC, Lightroom 5, ACDSee 17



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