Scrapbook Layout Design: Golden Ratio

What is the Golden Ratio? This "rule of odds" suggests that an odd number of subjects in scrapbook layout design is more interesting than an even number. Thus if you have more than one photo in your layout, the suggestion is to choose an arrangement with at least three photo. An even number of subjects produces symmetries in the image, which can appear less natural.

For example, in this 8 x 8 scrapbook layout design, the left hand side of the page has 3 matted items and the right hand side of the page has one matted item. By working with odds, as the golden ratio suggests, the artist has created a design that is instinctually appealing.

But you may be thinking, "Wait a minute! Three matted items plus one matted item makes 4 - which is an even number" You're right - which is why this layout has 3 of the 4 matted items matted in black to tie them together. Each individual page follows the golden ratio, and as a whole the layout also follows the golden ratio.

On this layout, not only does each side contain only 2 items, but it also contains an even number of photos surrounded by a very symmetrical border. This leads to a scrapbook layout design that is not as visually appeal at a first glance.


As you place the rest of your photos and page elements, think about creating a visual triangle across the entire scrapbook layout design. As the image on the Scrapbook Layout Design Tips suggests triangular arrangement of the photos pulls the items together whereas using pairs or groups of 4 can make them feel separated into sections. In this example, the Golden Ratio was applied to the titles as well.

Notice how the titles work with the photo to create the visual triangle demanded by the Rule of Thirds.

This rule of odds applies to other page elements as well. Embellishments, sitckers, stamps, and die-cuts should all be subject to the Golden Ratio. In this same page, the Golden Ration was also applied to the embellishments helping to create a naturally appealing design.

The Golden Ratio is very closely connected to the Rule of Thirds. Try working with both of these visual arts composition techniques to create truly eye-popping layouts.


As the "Golden Ratio" suggests, there are layouts that will be more aesthetically appealing to the viewers simply by instinct. Often, you will notice those differences when you are planning or putting together a layout.

Try experimenting with different locations, sizes and angles of the photos to see what works best for your scrapbooking layout design. Do the slight changes contribute to a more balanced feel to the whole page? Notice the difference to your eye when you apply the "Golden Ratio" and when you do not.

After playing around with different scrapbook layout designs, take a step back and observe the layout for a few moments. Ask yourself, "Is there a good flow and balance?" If the answer is no, continue to make some little adjustments here and there to get the right balance. If the answer is yes, move on.

Remember: Perfect is the enemy of Good Enough!


Return to Scrapbook Layout Design

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Scrapbooks By Design Ezine

Our newsletters delivers money-saving scrapbook deals, tips and tricks, new techniques and product reviews right to your inbox!

join our mailing list
* indicates required

Follow Me on Pinterest


All the info on the most needed, best, and newest scrapbook supplies.
Are you a beginner? Check out our step by step how-to guide and learn how to make layouts that wow!