Mistake 1. Drop Shadowed Text
The number one mistake is adding drop shadows to text. Drop shadows are added to simulate 3D depth in a 2D image. You can dramatically change the look of an image with a applied shadow. However text does not need a drop shadow! Do not add one.
Never Stretch or Squeeze Fonts
Distorting type in any way, whether it be stretching, squeezing or squishing, or slanting, is wrong. It distorts the proportions creating an ugly fun-house effect.
Mistake 2. Oversized Bible Text
If you are using a Bible template and want your Bible journaling to look realistic your text should match the size of the Bible. Have you ever seen a Bible like the one below with text this large. If so it would have to have 100,000 pages to fit the all that jumbo text. Keep it realistic.
Mistake 3. Not Adding Drop Shadows
Drop shadows make an image look realistic. Not adding a drop shadow makes your image look flat. See the Design Beautiful Pages Class.
Mistake 4. Writing on an Element
If you were Bible journaing on a real page you would not write on a cluster of flowers. You can do it digitally but it does not look realistic. In this cluster example the word hope written on top of the flowers looks strange and out of place. An exception would be if the word hope were done with alpha letters. Then it would also be 3d but flat, not as thick as a flower.
Mistake 5. Wrong Proportions
This is a not a picture of a bear before and after overeating during the holidays. Hold down the shift key as you resize and it will keep your images proportional. If you don't hold the shift key when resizing elements the image will be out of proportion and fuzzy.
Mistake 6. Writing on Patterns
The following is an example of Bible journaing in a planner. here is a huge difference when you add a white background under your text. These are papers from the Psalm 119 class. The white frames are included in the printables to add beneath the text.
Mistake 6. Floating Word Art
You now know NOT to add a shadow to text. But it is ok to add a shadow to word art like the chipboard below. But do not over do it! Less is more. If you use the default settings with Photoshop Elements you may end up with a very heavy drop shadow. This can make your page look overpowered or fuzzy. Adjust the opacity, angle and size of your drop shadow until you get a more natural setting. The word are should look like it has a slight shadow. It should not look like it is floating.
Mistake 7. Doodles on Top of Elements
Its OK to let an element overlap a doodle but lifted element must be on top. Doodles go on the paper not on elements.
Mistake 8. Fasteners on top of Lifted Elements
You can layer elements. Its called clustering. But you cannot layer an element like stitching over a lifted bow or button. But it is OK over something flat to the page like washi tape.
Mistake 9. Dark Text on a Dark Background
Dark text on any dark background is very hard to read. It makes a huge difference to slip a white background under the text layer.
Mistake 10. Element Proportion to the Page
Think about how big a button is compared to a Bible. It is not a quarter of the page. Try to match what the element would look like in a real Bible. A real Bible page is 6 to 8 inches wide. A project like card is usually 3 inches wide so it should not be more than half the width (unless it was a pocket Bible).
Now you know what not to do. But how do you know what to do? Where do the elements go? How do you recognize design and avoid poor design? How do you create beautiful pages? Keep reading >>>
Design Beautiful Pages Class
Once you know Photoshop Elements well enough to get around I recommend you take the Design Beautiful Pages Class. It is amazing! It is absolutly one of the best online classes ever offered on design principles (and 100% guaranteed or you receive a full refund).
You get excellent step-by-step, to-the-point information on design principles. Taught by three experts including my favorite teacher Linda Sattgast. Linda and Jen White, and Jenifer Juris, have a total of 20 years design experience and can teach you how to avoid the pitfalls.
The amount of beautiful information in the twelve class modules is a real deal plus you receive over 200 page templates!! The goal is to help you:
- Get comfortable with your paper and element choices
- Gain confidence arranging papers and elements on your pages
- Use a simple formula to create awesome element clusters
- Finish pages in less time
- Be proud of the final result!
Experience The Delight of Designing
Beautiful Pages You LOVE
and are Proud to Share With Others!
- Instantly recognize good design—and design mistakes
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