Banner Tips

with 26 Comments

by Jen White

I love the soft warm masculine colors of Off We Go by Susan Bartolini. It’s one of my all-time favorite go-to kits when scrapping photos of the men in my life. Like many other kits on the market today, this one includes a fabulous pre-made banner. Today I’d like to share with you several ideas for using banners on your scrapbook pages.


1. Keep it level. The idea is a simple one, but it is so easily overlooked. When placing a banner on a page, keep it level and place other linear objects with it. This gives your viewer’s eyes a sense of familiarity. It’s like reading a book.



Here is the page that inspired this tip:



2. Add as an anchor. In digiland, an anchor is something you place behind the main attraction of your page. In most cases that main attraction is a photo, but it can also be a title or another important embellishment.

Banners make excellent anchors. Simply tuck them under anything important, and they look great!


Here is the page that inspired this tip:



3. Create a connection. Because of their linear nature, banners are also perfect for creating a connection and filling a void. Try using a banner to connect two parts of a page, and help the viewer know where you want them to go next. Here’s a good example of this tip:


4. Cut it up. You always have the option of altering the banner. Don’t feel like you have to use the entire thing or even use it as it was intended. Consider erasing all but three of the banner triangles to create a mini banner. Or use just one of the triangles to create a flag.


So next time you come across a kit with a banner, consider these design tips. I hope I’ve inspired you. Before you go, make sure you download the freebies from this post and then share the post with your buddies.


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26 Responses

  1. David Anchel
    | Reply

    I really like to thank you for the work you have made in writing this post. Very helpful!

  2. Banner Design
    | Reply

    Thanks for sharing useful ideas on banner design.

  3. shirl/grambie
    | Reply

    Love the taking the banner apart suggestion that I really noticed this month with the Premier stitched tags/pocket shaped elements included in the kit and in the Tame The Texture tutorial. Fantastic tips.
    As one who has learned tremendously from this site, I can say we each have our own personal likes and dislikes. Where I don’t care for excessive grunge, but another scrapper loves it. I was the world’s worst digital scrapper with no innate layout talent whatever–the truth. I did not like my layouts at all. But through encouragement from staff and members here, I can now look at my layouts and smile in spite of physical restrictions. So, to everyone, if it is not for you, do as I do–file it away. Hugs and Kisses. 🙂

  4. CrimsonCrow
    | Reply

    I love the banner tips! Thanks, Jen!

    I want to add my 2 cents to the “use very small photos” and white space discussion. I often wish, when posting, of our pages to post them, we occasionally get comments like: “hard to read, consider using larger font” or “maybe try a bigger photo” when in fact at 12×12 or 8.5×11 it all looks fine!

    I was shocked the first time I printed my 12×12 pages. Nothing looked “real.” Everything was too big! Why? Because the computer screen and the printed page are very different.

    • Linda Sattgast
      | Reply

      Amen! I agree with you CrimsonCrow! I keep trying to explain this fact to newbies. A gallery image is not meant to have readable journaling. Usually, if you can read the journaling, it will be way too big on the actual printed page.

      If you want someone to read what you wrote, put it in the same area you put the credits.

  5. kathy Black
    | Reply

    This is a fabulous tip!! I learn a lot from you and please continue to share your idea! I love your white space. Sometimes pages are taken up with so much “stuff” that your eye cannot focus on one thing.You know how to create fabulous LO’s with so little clutter. Love it!

  6. Cristi Dropka
    | Reply

    This was a very helpful tutorial. I will be sure to use some of these wonderful ideas in my pages.

  7. Erika
    | Reply

    I always learn from your layouts and tutorials. Thanks for sharing your great ideas with us.

  8. Erika
    | Reply

    Thanks Jen – Great ideas.

  9. scrapper2
    | Reply

    I often see banners strung on an angle across a page – like you did on the journaling block. I haven’t paid much attention to banners in real life. Is it “unnatural” for them to hang on a diagonal?
    On your South Texas Road Trip page my eyes went to the photos first. I like variety in scrapbook pages!

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      Hi scrapper2.
      Great question!! You are right on. Typically you will see scrapper’s using banners hung at an angle on their pages. This is widely acceptable and SUPER cute. The other examples you see here were intended to illustrate additional ways of displaying them. There really is NO wrong way to use banners. You can even put them upside down if you are feeling artsy! 😀

  10. Jeanne
    | Reply

    Thanks Jen, I love reading your blog posts and they are even more inspiring when I’m not reading them at 3 a.m. on an insomnia night (that was Sunday night). I tend to make my pictures larger but its because my grandkids are just so doggone cute! LOL Just as a thought since you did that multi part shadow blog a while back, would you consider a continuation of banners and how to apply custom shadows to them. Custom shadows are kind of the bane of my existence. I love banners, but the few times I’ve used them I’ve been really frustrated trying to get the shadows right.

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      That’s a GREAT idea, Jeanne! Look for that coming up. 😀 xoxo

      • Jeanne
        | Reply

        Yaaayyyyyyy! You are my hero-ine!!! XO

  11. Sharron Lamb
    | Reply

    Interesting comments! I generally make pages that are all about the photos and journaling, and seldom “waste printing” by making a page with just one photo. I think back to the old (REALLY old) photo albums with as many pictures on a page (black paper, using photo-corners) as would fit, and somehow think they had the right idea. That said, I really like your page, Jen, with all the white space. You have a lot of interesting photos on the page, and I know when it is printed, they will be plenty large. I like how you balanced the page with the journaling, title, and clusters. With so many colors in the photos, the neutral back ground shows them off beautifully, and adds a touch of interest of its own. The only thing I would do different is make it an 8.5 x 11″ format!

  12. Rikki
    | Reply

    Great tips, Jen. Thank you!

  13. pattya
    | Reply

    Thank-you, Jen, for more wonderful tips. I learn so much from your simple instructions.

  14. tcookred
    | Reply

    I really enjoy your articles Jen and I have learned a lot but I have to agree with Jayleigh on this one. My eye also went to the blank space-the rest was almost unimportant as I had to force my eyes to read the rest. Perhaps anything you could add to that space would still grab your eye because it is such a large space but I think if this was my page I would enlarge my type and pix or put some kind of graphic in the space. It’s also hard for those of us with less than perfect vision…(as in old!)to really see the pictures and type. “Best Buds” pix has lots of open space but the picture and graphics placement grabs your eye and in that case the open space is not even noticed. Having said all that, keep up the good instruction. I actually learned a lot just by seeing and thinking about the page rather than just copying.

  15. April
    | Reply

    Jayleigh, I agree…Although I like the page very much, I would rather fill the page with more photos or larger photos and use the paper as background accents. I was wondering if smaller pictures/large background was a trend or the proper way to scrap book. So, it’s the artists’ choice? Like you, just my opinion! BTW, my first job was at a newspaper where I worked with keylining and typesetting. Thanks for the great tips Jen, love your blogs!

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      Hi April. Thank you for your kind words. You are totally right when you say, “it’s the artists’ choice.” Scrapbooking is a subjective art. If it looks good to you, then it’s right! 😀 xoxoHi April. Thank you for your kind words. You are totally right when you say, “it’s the artists’ choice.” Scrapbooking is a subjective art. If it looks good to you, then it’s right! 😀 xoxo

  16. jayleigh
    | Reply

    Jen – i want to give you a little “old journalist’s” perspective on your layout above. i realize it has become very popular to leave a whole lot of paper visible and use very small photos on a page and call it “use of white space” – but, my eyes were immediately drawn to that huge “white space” of gray paper in the lower center of your page, and NOT to the photos, which really are the reason for creating a page. Use of white space actually means creating space that draws attention NOT to the “white space” but to the important items on a page. i realize that when a scrapper is creating a page, the focus is not on how the page will be viewed by others, but on the scrapper’s idea of the current trends in scrap page layout. But, to an old journalist like me, the pages with photos falling off the page and so small it is hard to define who is in them while the “paper” is a huge eye-catching space, does not tell the story. Eye-catching is the key – so i ask a question: is it the paper that is the most important part of this page? The journaling is good, but my eye went first to that big blank space of paper and not to either the photos or the journal-stories. But, ultimately, a page must please the creator, right? So, i’m not trying to be critical because i design my pages differently than you, so please don’t take this as “bashing” – it’s just that this current trend to leave a whole lot of paper with very small photos, i find distracting – but that’s just my opinion.

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      I can totally appreciate your perspective, Jayleigh. I too used to feel the same way about photos falling off the page. So, thank you for sharing.

      I know you would agree that not all scrap-able occasions have fabulous photos to place on a page. In my particular scrapbook page here, I wanted to focus on the journaling and the feeling of a journey from top to bottom. The photos are simply a side note or illustration of the journaling itself. And, I happen to LOVE that gray paper. So, I wanted to show that off too.

      Sorry I didn’t inspire you. 🙁 I think you may have missed the point of the article. wink. xoxo

      • Sue
        | Reply

        I understand both of your points, but I am willing to say, I too really dislike “White Space”. My eye went to the white space first, then the center banner and journaling, and then the photos, which may be what you desired. P.S. I really appreciate all of your great ideas Jen, but I also like to hear what others think whether it is contrary or not.

  17. Christine
    | Reply

    Thanks so much for this wonderful tip and great freebies…as always the tips are great!

  18. Thejage
    | Reply

    What excellent ideas! Never noticed that a banner should be level! – – well MOST of the time. I also like the idea of reducing or taking them apart. Thanks, Jen!

  19. FussBudget
    | Reply

    Your article gave me a couple ideas I had never thought of before. Thanks for the tips.

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