Digital scrapbooking tips

'Harry Houdini Scrapbook' by Boston Public Library, via Flickr

Good scrapbook layouts make contents clear

Digital scrapbooking is the process of creating and laying out each page in your scrapbook using a desktop publishing or even photo editing program. The software you use will, of course, depend on what you are most familiar with but because each page is digital, a number of effects can be added to the contents; which helps to enhance or improve the overall look and feel of the page.


In addition, digital scrapbook layouts can be used on websites to create a wholly digital scrapbook experience.

Inform the reader
A scrapbook that is meant to be shared needs to inform the reader just as much as being something for the creator to enjoy. With this in mind, you should consider adding spaces for descriptions of when and where the items in your scrapbook came from; as well as who is in each photograph. This will help the reader (and yourself in years to come) to understand what they are looking at.

To avoid confusion and prevent the scrapbook from looking like a jumble or a mess, consider setting a theme for each page or collection of pages in your scapbook. This will help you to decide on the right layout for each page and also make the contents more easy to decide on. Putting cuttings and photographs from school events or holidays together, rather than mixing them up, makes understanding what is going on much easier.

Edit photographs
Consider digital editing on your photographs. Old, faded photographs can be brought back to life with a little basic photo manipulation; restoring faded color or enhancing the image to make its contents sharper. Similarly, newer photos can be edited with fade and grain effects to make them fit in better with older ones. Try cropping large photographs down to show only the parts you are interested in, to save space on your layouts.

File sizes
Digital scrapbook layouts can produce very large file sizes when saved on your computer; so you could find yourself running out of space very quickly. If you are using image editing software such as Photoshop or The Gimp, consider “flattening” the image once your layout is exactly as you want it. This removes all the layers from the image file, making the image one large, flat document with a much smaller file size.

Photograph courtesy of Boston Public Library

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