Easy Layout Techniques

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Hi Everyone,

Have you ever wanted to create a design with text, but didn’t know where to start? Even experienced scribes can sometimes feel intimidated by the blank page. Let me give you some tips for planning an effective page layout. Let’s assume that you have basic information about the design: size, orientation (horizontal or vertical), how many colors and the text. You also need to know if you are creating a one-of-a-kind original or a design which will be printed or shared digitally. Before I start a design I also like to know the target audience– I would tackle a design which would be sent to high school cheerleaders differently than I would a design for a retired bankers.

Once I know who I’m designing for, I try to prioritize the content so I may place it on the page effectively. I often ask myself a few simple questions such as:

1. What part of the text is the most important?

2. How can I emphasize the important words?

3. Will adding illustration help convey the message?

4. Would a border enhance the design or distract from what I am trying to convey?

5. What color palette will help catch the viewer’s attention?

Once I have answered these questions, I usually make some quick thumbnail sketches. Here are thumbnails of a few wedding card concepts:

If you’d like to see some step-by-step visuals, check out the LAYOUT TECHNIQUES section of my book, Complete Guide to Bible Journaling: Creative Techniques to Express Your Faith (pages 46-51). If you don’t already have a copy you can get one in my webstore, or on Amazon.

Below are two videos where I explain how I go about deciding what words to emphasize when I’m creating a design. This first one– Sparkling Send Off– is 10 minutes (which shows that it IS possible to letter a sign like this in less than 10 minutes!).

In the second video, which is 15 minutes, I explore different layout techniques for the same text.

Leave a comment to me know if you have any layout questions.

Since Sunday is Father’s Day, I wanted to share a design I made for my Dad:

I invite you to make a similar card for your Dad:

Click below if you’d like the FREE DOWNLOADABLE Zenspirations® Father’s Day card.


Father’s Day is great if you can celebrate it with your Dad– but I know that not everyone is fortunate enough to have a Dad to make a card for. If this is the first Father’s Day that you are spending without your Dad, I am truly sorry for your loss. I hope that you’ll be able to spend some time reflecting on the qualities you most admired about your Dad, and do something special in his honor.

Father’s Day is also a REALLY hard day for widows who must now play the role of both parents. I know first hand how hard it is to help your kids cope with losing their Dad when you are grieving yourself. I am so grateful to all of the ‘father figures’ in my children’s lives, and hope that if you know someone who makes a difference in the life of a child, you’ll take a moment this Father’s Day to let them know that you noticed. I also hope you’ll help me reach out to those who are missing their dad by downloading this design and sharing it with them.

Click the link below to download your FREE Father’s Day Remembrance Design.


You can e-mail it, snail mail it, tweet it, post it on Facebook or any other social media platform– the idea is to let people who are grieving know they are not alone.

Stay Zenspired,


5 thoughts on “Easy Layout Techniques”

  1. Thank you Joanne for all the sharing you do! Can’t wait to sit down and watch your videos! XO

  2. Thank you Joanne! …A bountiful gift of timely blessings!
    Just a quick note, the two videos that are embedded in this post don’t seem to be functioning. It could be on my end of the technology, but could you check also? You always share great information, (as you have with this post,) so I don’t want anyone to miss these gems!
    Wonderful layout tips and downloads, too! ❤️

  3. Thank you so much Joanne. My Dad has been gone 40 years now. I still miss him terribly!

  4. love your video and the idea of it just wish I could hear it. there is so little volume.

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