Card Design Handbook Blog Hop

Design is one of those essential elements of card making. You know how you look at a card and think, something’s wrong but I’m not sure what? Well, usually there is something wrong with the design.

Design is one of those things that may come naturally to some but it is something that everyone can learn. I like that. Learning is a good thing. I’ve learned a lot since I started creating card designs. I must admit I cringe a little to see those old designs from years ago but that’s OK. It’s all part of the process.

Now that the kids are headed back to school, how about learning some new things yourself? The newest special publication from Paper Crafts magazine is called Card Design Handbook and it is packed full of inspiration and most importantly, lessons in design.

Today ten of the designers from this issue are having a blog hop and each are featuring an element of design. I’m not quite sure why I picked white space to tackle as a design element as it’s a bit of a tricky one. I mean really…white space doesn’t even have to be white! How’s that for confusing?

So let’s talk white space.

White space is a term talking about space where nothing is going on. It’s the negative space and I’ve often thought of it as the spaceΒ  where a design breathes. Not every design has white space and that’s OK. Let’s focus on designs that do use it and how to think about it.

First of all I’ve created a card that has some white space in it. There’s not a ton but there is a nice white space border around the edges of the card. The white space allows your focus to be drawn into the center of the design.This card is really pretty but perhaps a little boring. I think it could be better with a little more white space.

Remember that this space doesn’t have to be white like this design. It can be black or any hue you wish. It’s just a quiet space. White space is especially lovely in clean and simple or elegant design styles.

Now here’s my second card design. I’ve used exactly the same product to create this card but just changed up the layout a bit.

By making a small change on where I’ve placed my embellishment cluster, I’ve added more white space and changed up the design. By placing my embellishment cluster at the sweet spot (another design term you’re going to learn about in the Card Design Handbook), it draws your eye to the sentiment. The sentiment is now easy to read, not hidden like an afterthought and the main focus of the design.

I’ve created a couple sketches to help you visualize the white space in these designs. Focus on the black areas of the design. That is the white space. The negative space. I’ve made it black so that it will jump out at you. Look at the shapes it makes in the black when designing with white space. Note that these are NOT full detail sketches. They are simple so that you can focus directly on that white/negative space.

This first design is a very classic sketch. I admit I’ve turned to it time and time again and a very simple design. Central focal point. Sentiment below.

This second sketch is of my improved white space design. Focusing on the black area, I really like the shape of the “white” space. It’s a nice large area to the right of the design. The design may be heavy in embellishments on the left side but having such a large area of white space balances out the design. Having that sentiment surrounded by the white space makes it really easy to read. Your eye naturally wants travel from left to right along with the text. A lovely card is important but really, you are giving this card to say something, right?

You see? White space and movement and the sweet spot and balance…they all work together. Design is cool like that!

Now that we’ve gotten through this long tutorial, you may decide you like the first project best. That’s fine. Design is all a matter of taste. Guidelines are just that. Simply guidelines to follow and there is always exceptions to the rule. Learn the guidelines, think about them and then decide how you want to use them to make your own creations that much better.

Now if you’ve stayed with me this long, hopefully you’ve learned a little something about design and you definitely deserve a prize. I have ONE copy of the Card Design Handbook to give away to one lucky person. For a chance to win simply comment on this blog post before midnight EST Tuesday August 28th One comment per person please! I’ll be randomly drawing a winner and posting on this blog the winner as soon as I can afterwards. Please be patient as I’m moving my daughter next week and I’ll get it done as soon as I can.

There are so many talented designers participating in this blog hop with some great ideas about design. Make sure you hop along to each of these blogs to learn more and also be sure to comment on their blog posts as well for more chances to win a copy of the new Card Design Handbook from Paper Crafts Magazine.

  1. Chan Vuong
  2. Kalyn Kepner
  3. Julia Stainton *you are here*
  4. Jocelyn Olson
  5. Angeline Yong Jeet Leen
  6. Jaclyn Miller
  7. Lorena CantΓ³ LaverΓ­a
  8. Amy Wanford
  9. Emily Branch
  10. Vanessa Menhorn

Next you are hopping along to see what Jocelyn Olsen has to share with you today!

Have a fabulously fun and creative weekend!


176 responses to “Card Design Handbook Blog Hop

  1. Nobody can mix embellishments and texture better than you. I always admire your creating style. Thanks for sharing !

  2. Great cards!! Love both but I agree that the second one is more interesting. Thanks for the chance to win πŸ˜‰

  3. Both cards are absolutely gorgeous! Thanks for the tutorial! I can’t wait to get my hands on this issue!!!

  4. Julia, really appreciate the detail of this white space tutorial. I struggle with white space, yet i really like it. So more practice for me.

  5. both cards are so beautiful! love how you have used the white space idea in both. to be honest, white space pretty much freaks me out! πŸ˜‰ you have it nailed to a T. oh gosh, so much to still learn in this hobby! grins!

  6. Caryn S. (Scrapnsing)

    Yes DEFINITELY like the off-center card better, I wouldn’t be able to explain it myself but it is more interesting to my eyes.

  7. What great cards!

  8. Thank you for that ‘tip’. This is truly the area of cardmaking that I struggle with. Love the off-center placement it adds interest to the card.

  9. Thanks for your little lesson on white space! That was very helpful! πŸ™‚

  10. WHAT A NICE lesson! YOU’RE A GOOD TEACHER!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE ALL your cards! LOL πŸ™‚ (Don’t make me choose! ) πŸ™‚

  11. Love this card! It is absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of the Card Design Handbook.

  12. I love both cards!! Thanks for the chance to win!!

  13. WOW! Stunning use of white space! LOVE the idea of moving the design off to the side!!!

  14. What a difference a little more space makes. Loved the great way you showed the difference with additional white space using the same “ingredients”…. I can’t wait to try this with some of my favorite stamps.

  15. I Love the first one, Gorgeous! Good luck with the move

  16. Really great example on the second card, I love the change! Thanks for the tips about design, I definitely get what you’re saying – now if I can just apply it!

  17. Fun to think off the card.

  18. Fabulous! Loving all the tips.

  19. What a great design! I love the idea of off-center focal points. I need to do this more!

  20. What can I say, I just love,love, love this card and the wonderful design tips you have shared with us.

  21. Both cards are great, but I do like the second one better. I made a card for a friend kind of like this, but did not know the technique was called “white or quite space”, now I do, thanks!

  22. Both your cards are so beautiful but you explained the white space principal so well in seeing the difference. Thanks for sharing!

  23. Wow, beautiful cards, both…but a big difference in the impact of the second! Great visual lesson.

  24. Sweet card – love the off center scetch!

  25. Lovely cards!! Thanks for all of the tips you’ve shown here! I’d love to have this issue as it’s a super reference point as well as great inspiration!!!

  26. Ooooh I love the asymmetry of the second card. You are right. It does make the sentiment pop! I tent to be too symmetrical in my design. I will definitely try this layout. Thanks!

  27. Your lesson was great! Thank you so much! Your cards are beautiful, and I will definitely think of them the next time I try to correctly use white space on my card! Thanks again!

  28. Love the use of white space! Am trying to incorporate it more into my cards too.

  29. EXCELLENT lesson. I really like the way you used the black white space. It helped to have that visual. So glad I decided to hop along today. Thanks, Julia.

  30. LOVELY LOVELY LOVELY!!! I just adore you and your beautiful designs!! These cards are PERFECTION!

  31. Thanks for pointing out how much more interesting a card can be with an off-center design. I must try this.

  32. LOVE how everything is off to the side as well!

  33. Wow! I never would’ve thought just moving from center to the side would make such a dramatic difference. Thanks so much for demonstrating this to us. I’m learning a lot through this hop.

  34. This was very helpful. Thank you this tutorial on white space. I will have to refer to this again as I still struggle with this concept.

  35. Wow great cards!

  36. Love your card! Moving the focal point to accentuate the white space was genius. Thanks for inspiration in your art and the sketches! Hope your daughter’s move goes smoothly!

  37. What a pretty card, thanks for sharing the tips. I hope I remember this while I’m crafting next time.

  38. It’s really helpful to see the lesson “in action” with 2 cards. I’m learning a lot and enjoying all the lessons. Good luck with your daughter’s move.

  39. Beautiful the difference it made by just moving it over.

  40. The white space theory is one that I should practice on my cards more often!

  41. Wow Julia! Both of these cards are sweet, but I really like the second one best! I keep forgetting about white space πŸ™‚ Love all these great lessons I am learning today!

  42. this is a nice tutorial. i love how you showed the difference between a good and a great design.

  43. Hmm… going to have to read more about this white space stuff.

  44. Great lesson about white space. The card is definately more interesting with the focal image off to the left and the sentiment beside it.

  45. white space is something I have trouble with—I’m always trying to fill every little space up with something—love what you’ve done

  46. Very dynamic tutorial, Julia! Thanks for the visual lesson!

  47. very lovely! I use white space all. the. time. but it can still be a really big challenge. Thanks for the chance to win πŸ™‚

  48. Barbara Axmacher

    Wow! What a difference the “placement” of the white space really makes.

  49. I love it. The white space really does make a difference. Your eyes are drawn to the sentiment and the beauty of the card.

  50. Oh, I like the white space on the second one! I never think to do that! Thanks for the inspiration πŸ˜€

  51. Thank you for showing us so clearly about white space. It made it easier to understand! Your cards rock!

  52. Great lesson! Both cards are gorgeous but for some reason the first one is still my favorite. Thanks for the sketches too.

  53. Beautiful card either way!

  54. very pretty

  55. I’m really not sure how I feel about this one–think that I like the first version best. It looks classic and elegant to me.

  56. Thanks, I think white space is what I need to improve on the most, for some reason I feel like the whole card needs to be full to be complete (not always a good thing)!

  57. Such beautiful cards, both of them! TFS =)

  58. Wow. Thanks for the great example. Such a big improvement from before to after.

  59. Kristan(Crazy4Christ)

    very pretty cards!! Love the pearl clusters!!

  60. This is a concept I often “forget” about. Thanks for reminding us about it! Love your card.

  61. So pretty and delicate!

  62. Thanks for the design lesson on white space. Always love seeing what you have created!

  63. I really like both cards, but I guess I can see how the second one is a better design. I think I really need a copy of this Card Design Handbook to help me learn better techniques. Thanks for the chance to win!

  64. Julia, I appreciate your explanation of white space. Sort of got it before but now I GET IT!! Thanks! And thanks for the chance to win. πŸ™‚

  65. Christine Coile

    I like the off-center card the best. The look is very different.

  66. Thanks for your great illustration about white space today. I really like the idea of it being a “breathing space”.

  67. Designing cards as opposed to just creating a card … I never gave it much thought. But now I am going to be more aware of placement on my card creations. Who knew what a difference it could make? And I definitely need to learn more about the “sweet spot” !!! Would so love to be able to win a copy of this publication! It could easily become my Creativity 101 reference book!!!

  68. Great lesson!! White space is hard for me to accomplish: I’ve got to try it more. Thanks!!

  69. barbara lassiter

    Thanks for the great tips and I agree that the second card is better and more interesting. I’m sure this issue is a must have!

  70. This is really interesting learning all this about design! I like both of your cards.

  71. I am just blown away at the difference placement makes. Thanks for the inspiration

  72. Your teaching is so very helpful! Thank you for sharing your many talents!

  73. Very nice! This gives me something to ponder!

  74. I am a HUGE fan of yours! (in fact, I have your posts e-mailed to me so I never have to miss one!) I love your style, and am always amazed at your work! Thanks for the great tips and sketches on white space, this is something I need to work on!

  75. I love the use of white space, especially in cards because I think it makes the sentiment and embellishments stand out. Love that you moved your design over a bit – clever!

  76. I like the first card but it is pretty fussy. The second card is more to-the-point and gets the message across better.

  77. Both are very pretty, but the second is certainly more dramatic. Thanks for the lesson.

  78. love the asymmetrical balance of the second card. your layered embellishments are amazing.

  79. The first card looked fine, but the second one does look way better!

  80. White or quiet space is a hard one! Thank you for explaining it so nicely. The sketches are a nice touch. πŸ˜€

  81. I can honestly say this blog post rocked and I’d love to win that book. I look at your blog every day, but never comment since I peek at it on my phone, but this post was worth the extra trouble πŸ˜‰

  82. Wow, simply stunning. It’s all about perspective, isn’t it? πŸ™‚

  83. Perfect example of using white space effectively! My design would almost always be the first; but your second card just works so much better. (And I’m obviously learning; I could tell before you told me that you’d used the sweet spot/rule of thirds on the second! :P)

  84. I love white space!
    Your card is gorgeous. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of this book.

  85. Great projects! I always get such fun ideas from these blog hops!

    Carol B
    [email protected]

  86. I really need to win the magazine to remember all the great things I’m learning! Your examples are stunning-simply gorgeous.

  87. what a great example! thanks!

  88. wow what a difference placement makes! thank you for making the black and white samples it made it much easier to understand.

  89. Wow, both cards are gorgeous, but I see what you mean, placement makes a difference.

  90. These are both beautiful, Julia. You have such a gift.

  91. sharon gullikson

    Gosh, both are cute. Extras do count, though.

  92. Nice card! I often have trouble finding these publications in my area, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. πŸ™‚

  93. I wouldn’t have thought of offsetting the design but it looks great!

  94. Both cards are beautiful, but it’s amazing how captivating the second card is. Lovely!

  95. I used to fill up a lot of space on my card, but after referring to the white space in the glossary, I understand the feeling of the sentiment with the design.

  96. Wow! That’s amazing that you were able to achieve that dramatic of a difference using the same products but a different layout. I love it, Julia! Gorgeous card.

  97. I really love the 2nd version!!!!

  98. I really like the idea that the sentiment becomes front and centre in the second lay out – interested in learning more about the sweet spot!!! Card is really pretty by the way…

  99. I love how you changed the card. The first one looks a bit clunky and heavy to me. Love the second one.

  100. the card u made is great.I really do see what giving more white space can

  101. Your cards are always gorgeous! I love the first card but I see how the second card draws your eye to the sentiment. Fabulous tutorial-thank you!

  102. Your cards are gorgeous… but I think I would have moved it over without moving it all the way off the card… but then I don’t have the knowledge you have on design… thanks for the info… makes me want the book even more!

  103. Very classy, love the look!

  104. Both cards are beautiful, I love the colors and textures. The change in embellishment position really does make a difference. Thank you for sharing and the chance to win.

  105. I have never heard of white space. Thanks for this tutorial

  106. Very interesting–I like both of them.

  107. Beautiful cards – both of them. Thanks for sharing the concept of white space. A great tip. Thanks also for the chance to win.

  108. Very nice cards. Shifting the placement of the design really did make a difference. TFS.

  109. These tips are great! I’m learning alot and getting to see some beautiful cards along the way.

  110. Great tip about the white space. I think a lot of still think that there should be something on every spot. Thanks

  111. Love both of your cards’

  112. I think I am finally get the idea of this white space.

  113. Thanks for the great tips! Being a former Yearbook Editor where I learned that white space is BAD, this will really help me overcome these old habits!

  114. Thanks for all the detail in this tutorial. Very helpful. Love the cards too. Good work!

  115. I love both of your cards for different reasons, they are gorgeous.
    Thanks for sharing your tips with us and for the chance to win this what I believe is an awesome booklet.

  116. Beautiful cards. Great visual lessons, I’d love to win a copy of Card Design Handbook but I’m not sure I can wait.

  117. kathy/NorthCarolina

    White space creates room to breathe. I love that! It will be in my head from now on! Thanks, Julia!

  118. A simple move to the left made all the difference here, Julia! Very nice card.

  119. Wow! Wow! Wow! Julia, I never thought that by just moving everything to one side of the paper would make such a big difference! Thanks for the tip!

  120. Thanks! I have been designing cards, specially ATCs for years, and your article threw some light to understanding from a different perspective what I am doing.

  121. I never really looked at white space quite that way. I learned something new today. Thanks.

  122. Thanks for the sketches!

  123. Absolutely gorgeous card! I just love the 2nd card and how you off-set the frame. I have a tendency to not think of things actually going off the edge–but I always like the designs when I see them. Thank you very much for sharing!

  124. Both of the cards are beautiful, but what a difference when you changed the position of the embellishment. Thanks

  125. I really do like both cards. But I think asymmetry is more of a challenge for me, so I like seeing how the same focal point can be used in both these versions…and I’m definitely loving the extra white space.

  126. Great examples!

  127. Really appreciate the help with your white space tutorial, Julia. It’s so helpful. Thanks for the chance to win this awesome issue!

  128. It’s a tie for me… I like them both! Love the embellishments!

  129. LOVE your second design!

  130. Hi! I really want to get this book! I love the ideas!

  131. Great explanation – I am thinking about things in a whole new way. Thanks!

  132. This is so wonderful!!! I love the look of the second one, I’m learning so much I love this! Thank you so much!

  133. Amazing what a difference such a simple change makes! I really can’t wait to sit down with an issue and do a little studying. πŸ™‚

  134. Great. TFS. must get this book.

  135. You explained the white space issue perfectly! Thanks so much! I can’t wait to get Card Design for myself.

    Thanks for sharing your great ideas.

  136. Lovely card! Thanks for these design tips! πŸ˜‰

  137. Victoria in OHio

    Both cards are gorgeous!

  138. Love your off-center card, your insight, and your sketches. thanks!

  139. The white space does make it look very fresh and clean!

  140. Your black and white images made this principle so easy to understand-thank you so much!

  141. Julia, your cards are gorgeous! Love seeing the totally different look you achieved by changing the layout a bit! Thanks for the great information and tips!

  142. this is a wonderful hop and love your card especially the second one. love the space you’ve left on the side with the design on the other side.

  143. While the second card seems to be more energetic, I think I am drawn to the first design because it is more traditional. Both cards are beautiful and I enjoyed reading your explanation of the use of white space and ways to make it more effective. Thanks!

  144. What a beautiful card and a wonderful tip!!

  145. fantastic tutorial…this will be a great resource to come back to!

  146. These cards are gorgeous! I really like the second one! The frame and pearls are so pretty!

  147. Delightful! I love how you altered the sketch. You are a crafty genius!

  148. Very nice card and the second is much improved. THanks for sharing with us.

  149. Great cards

  150. Thanks for explaining “white space” so well. I like both cards, but the second one is more pleasing or interesting. I’m afraid I probably make more of the first card design so need to step it up! I sure could use this new magazine!

  151. Wow! I love them both!

  152. This has to be one of my favorite blog hops! All these design tips are fabulous. I have only been making cards for a year so I feel like I am a sponge soaking up all these fabulous tips. I may have heard some before but I really like the way this hop is going about sharing the tips. I guess I am a visual learner, I really like the photo examples of what to do and what not to do! TFS your terrific post today!

  153. Beautiful cards, Julia! Love them both!

  154. Thanks for the great design tips and examples. This blog hop is fab!

  155. In most of these remakes I definitely like the second, but this is a toss-up. Both look great!

  156. Thanks for the lesson on white space. I actually like both cards but for different moods.

  157. Both are gorgeous-thanks for the mini tutorial πŸ™‚

  158. Such AMAZING and FUN cards!! LOVE the tips and tricks!! THANKS for sharing and for the chance to win!! Have a FABULOUS WEEK!! =)

  159. they’re both so pretty. but I would have NEVER thought to do something like that – coming off the edge like that made it quite interesting. really neat idea.

  160. Thank you for the lesson on white space, or breathing space. These are good lessons for us.

  161. Wow! I love how the little change lets us focus and see the sentiment more.

  162. Ooh, I like the second one much better!

  163. Love your gorgeous card and it was an interesting lesson on white space!!

  164. Great cards. I am new to your blog but I will be back. I am always looking for inspiration.

  165. Perfect use of white space – especially for me, since it’s almost impossible! Great lesson and visual you provided! I am so inspired! AND, your cards are stunning!

  166. I’ve been stamping for several years, but agree that learning is a good thing. These are beautiful cards, but the addition of more quiet space made a huge impact. Love it!!

  167. Love the off-centered placement of the image and sentiment – thanks for opening my eyes (reminding me) that things don’t always have to be dead centered. I love negative and white space on cards and often struggle with best how to utilize it. Thanks for this quick lesson!

  168. Love the white space card

  169. Such a great tip. They really look different. I’ll try that. Cute.

  170. Julia, I was drawn to your post from Ellen’s Facebook page. What a lovely card design, White space is not so easy for me. I especially love your second offset design.

  171. Oh, you are so good. That second card is just wonderful – I’m a lover of white space and your point about the sentiment placement is so true. Thanks for the instruction.

  172. What’s up, just wanted to mention, I enjoyed this blog post.
    It was inspiring. Keep on posting!

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