It's important to not only have a focal point in a piece, but it's also important to consider how the viewer's eye is going to move through it. Where is the viewer's eye going to enter? What path will it follow? Will it be recycled and retained, or will it exit the piece at a certain point? I don't -always- thing these things through, but it certainly is a consideration in many of my designs. It's especially interesting when you're considering art in a style which is read from right to left, for example, or up to down and then across.
Anyway... I finished this piece the other day and when I was done, realized that there's actually quite a strong path, or even paths, through the piece. I didn't consciously do it this way--it was one of those "this feels right" and then I figured why afterwards.
(Fonts: Baby Boston & heathert. Frames by Katie Pertiet for the Designer Digitals Web Challenge this week. Everything else mine... =)
From a Western perspective, your eye is likely to enter a piece from the top left (because we're trained to read from left to right, top to bottom), or to be dragged into the piece by the focal point. In this particular piece it could happen either way: the top photo could lead downwards, or the eye could go directly to the big round red spot. However, the rose is pointed up, towards the photos, and so redirects the eye that way in case it got lost. What I found really interesting, however, was the positioning of the tiny little hearts I did. It's really hard to make things look random, and yet retain some control over them. In this case, the little hearts make a nicely subdued, colorful trail that leads you down the photos (with a stop at "Companion" for the pink heart linking the two of us... can you spell "sappy"?), back up to the rose, and right to the final message. Those little hearts are repeated in the background; the repeated elements tend to tie in all the parts of the layout. (Note: the little hearts were punched out of magazine paper, and then I scanned a whole bunch, and then I selected a few out.)
Just something to keep in mind next time you have a layout with a ton of elements...
And a small toot: I was chosen by Rhonna Farrer, of all people (cuz she's like my digiscrapping flourish hero and all *shuffleshuffle*), as the digital member inspiration of the month for how I used her kit in my "A Boy and His Lunkhead... Uh, Dog." layout! *happy dance*
Oh, and speaking of flourishes... I'm thinking of making a freebie alpha with my "Flourished" font, examples of which you can see here: