Last week, we talked about snagging quotes from the people in our pages to use as titles, but that’s not going to work for every single page you create. If your pages are anything like mine, they span a wide variety of topics and stories. There are going to be times when the other strategies we’ve covered for coming up with an original title isn’t going to work. Don’t fret! In this situation, just state the obvious.
The trick for the strategy of stating the obvious is to practice what you’ve learned about rendering a title design in previous posts from this series. You can turn a obvious into obviously amazing by using our design principle knowledge and understanding how the mind combines what it knows with what it sees.
Once upon a time, there was a man who studied why we see images the way we do, even when seeing those images leads us to an incorrect conclusion, as demonstrated by optical illusions. His name was Gestalt and he gave us a whole set of principles that deal with perception. While there are lots of moving parts to the Gestalt principles, we’re going to concern ourselves with two: perceiving motion and filling in missing information. These are two things that scrapbookers do regularly.
Let’s take a look at some pages that employ the design principles we’ve explored in this series and this new idea that our brains fill in missing information and use visual cues to perceive motion on scrapbook pages (aka Gestalt Principles). It may sound daunting, but I think you’ll find you do some of these things already without realizing it (because you’re awesome like that).
Immediately you see the high contrast title here, but do you have any idea what a 3D DS XL is at all? You’ve probably used the visual cues from the information on the page that it’s something wonderful for my son and from the title, technical. Good job, brain!
On this page, the journaling is written on my son’s face. (See this article to learn how I the technique) Instead of coming up with some clever title, I stated the obvious: the journaling is on his face. Using a script font and warping it to match the contours of his face, makes the obvious interesting. It also helps define the area of the face and thus you fill in the missing line of contour. Notice that the title contrasts with the serif font in the background as well as the sans serif font used on my son’s shirt. It’s also much larger than the text on the face.
In Snuggles, I’ve rendered the title twice, but in both versions of the word, you can’t see all the letters. Your brain doesn’t need the whole word to recognize what it’s saying. It uses visual clues and what it already knows about words to fill in the missing information in a nanoseconds. If I applied this trick of hiding letters on the 3D DS XL page, you’d be as confused as confused could be!
I’ve used a word cloud to document a difficult month. All the words are in a dark, small, serif font. The title contrasts with these words in size, color and style. I’ve also made the letters of “May April” misaligned, or wonky, and let the ‘L’ in April hang off the page. These two things used together help convey the idea of time passing… the title is marching off the page. Your brain is using what you know to fill in what’s missing and conclude where it’s going next.
Here, I’m playing with the idea of falling snow. The title, Snow, is completely obvious, but despite a large portion of the word missing and being there’s not a lot contrast, you still have no difficulty reading it. If the word snow was replaced by the Latin for falling snow stated in a more complex way like “cumulus congelata glaciem particulis,” there is no way on Earth most people would be able to read the title if information was missing (unless you knew Latin). Even “accumulation of frozen ice particles,” the translation, would be hard to read rendered this way.
Using the Gestalt Principle works best when you are stating the obvious. As a matter of fact, it’s almost a requirement that your word or words be almost universally recognizable, in your face obvious when apply this principle. It also keeps obvious from being boring. Together with other principles like contrast, you can kick the effect up a notch. (BAM!)
If you want to share your pages, tag #justjaimeetitles in your favorite social media platform or leave a comment below.