What is Digital Scrapbooking?
Digital scrapbooking, like traditional (paper) scrapbooking, basically involves telling a story or relaying memories in a visually appealing way. In digital scrapbooking all of the elements involved (photos, memorabilia, embellishments and text) are digital files. The scrapbook “page” is generally referred to as a layout, and it may be printed out and entered into a book, or left as a digital file.
How is Digital Scrapbooking Accomplished?
The process of digital scrapbooking involves almost exactly the same elements and steps as paper scrapbooking, except everything is done digitally. Even items that are not digital (like ticket stubs or wedding invitations) can be included by using a scanned image or photo.
As the popularity of digital scrapbooking increases, there are more and more software programs on the market that cater to the needs of scrapbookers. Programs range in price from expensive to fairly inexpensive, depending on the complexity of the features. It is certainly possible to create great layouts with some of the simpler programs.
The most important feature needed for software used in digital scrapbooking is the capability to design using layers. This is because when designing a digital scrapbook page, the same steps are used as in paper scrapbooking: 1) gather the elements to be used, like digital photos and papers; 2) arrange them in the layout in a pleasing way; 3) add text. Using the software, all elements (including text) will be on separate layers, so they can be manipulated until just the right look is achieved, much like in paper scrapbooking. Digital scrapbooking allows a great deal of creative flexibility because photos can be made larger or smaller, colors can be changed or muted and so on. Most programs offer at least a handful of interesting effects that can be applied to images; some of the more sophisticated programs have seemingly limitless capabilities!
What Supplies are Needed to Get Started in Digital Scrapbooking?
Aside from the computer and software, there are a few other supplies that are needed for digital scrapbooking. Depending on personal preference, one can use as few or as many additions to the layouts as desired.
Like in paper scrapbooking, most layouts start with photos. Even if the original photo is not digital, it can still be used in digital scrapbooking by either scanning it, having a CD made from the negatives or even taking a digital photograph of the original print.
The rest of the elements used can be found online for free or for purchase from the many online scrapbook stores. Pretty much anything one would use to embellish a paper scrapbook page has a digital equivalent (papers, stickers, buttons, brads, you name it)! Anything that cannot be found online can most likely be made using the same software used for the digital scrapbooking. Helpful articles and tutorials abound on how to make or do just about anything you can dream up.
Beyond what is needed to get started in digital scrapbooking there are plenty of other supplies that might be useful and can expand the possibilities even further; a digital camera and accessories; a wide format photo printer (for printing 12×12 layouts); a flatbed scanner; a tablet and pen for hand drawn text and elements. The list is ever growing.
How Can Digital Scrapbook Layouts be Preserved?
It is very important to back-up (make copies of) digital files. Just as paper scrapbooks can be lost or damaged, so can digital layouts. If prints are made of the digital layouts, it is a good idea to use acid free inks and papers. There are printers, papers and inks on the market formulated specifically for this purpose.