One of my favorite aspects of this year’s family story album is the title pages I created for each month. I just love the way these capture our month’s activities at a quick glance.
In fact, I’m almost tempted to make an album using just these sheets. If you are searching for a way to quickly and efficiently capture your family’s year, 12 of these would definitely do the trick. Another option is to make sheets that capture each individual family member’s month of the year and then combine them for a low-stress large family year album.
First, to maximize the time I spend on our albums, I created a style guide to use while I work. I pick a few fonts and a general layout pattern and stick to this almost entirely throughout the album.
For our 2016 album title pages, I’m using Pinyon Script and Aileron Regular. (Right now, I’m satisfied with the fonts offered through Canva, but there is an option to upload you’re own if that’s how you roll.)
First, I created the title blocks.
I created a new design in Canva by clicking “Use Custom Dimensions” and designing a 3 inch x 3 inch template.
I created two new text boxes – one for the name of the month and one for the year – and arranged them within the new design.
Here are a couple of other ideas for creating a month/year tile:
Once you’re happy with your template, download it from Canva (as a .png). I normally make all 12 at once to save time – to do this, just change the name of the month and continue saving until you’ve created and stored all 12.
Next, I selected 15 photos from the month. First, I scrolled through the folder of my Instagram photos for the highlights. If I found 15 that I liked, then I was done with this step. If I need a few more, I then open the month’s photo folder and select additional photos. (You can see a little peek of my filing process for my photo files below, if you look carefully.)
I don’t spend a ton of time agonizing over this process. Because it’s a title page, I focus more on unique shots or photos that capture emotions or special moments and memories rather than pictures that are perfectly composed. I also pay attention to white space to prevent the sheet from appearing too busy.
Next is the editing. I normally leave any photos pulled from my Instagram file alone, since these are usually already edited.
If you are cool and professional and use a desktop editing program, this next step will be quick for you. Simply edit the photos and save.
If you’re like me and you depend largely on your phone apps for quick post-processing, this will take a bit more time. Here are my editing steps:
- Email or Airdrop the unprocessed photos to your phone.
- I like to use VSCO, so I upload all of them at once.
- I try to use the same filter for the majority of the pictures and, for this group, I minimize how much I play with the photos. A quick touch-up or filter and I’m done. (I normally use the filter B5 for any black and white and the filter A5 turned down a few notches for color.)
- Save the photos to your phone and then email or Airdrop them back to the computer.
Create a new template in Canva using the custom dimensions of 5000 px. x 5000 px. Upload the 15 selected photos and the month’s title tile. At this point, I normally rely on the 4 x 4 layout grid in Canva. It allows me to simply drag and drop each photo into a square slot.
(Note: you can edit the exact placement of your photo within the layout square by double-clicking on the photo once you have dropped it into the layout, shifting the photo, and then clicking the checkmark.)
Again, I play around with the exact layout of my grid to maximize the overall look without sacrificing too much time or thought on it. I always reserve one of the most central four spaces for the month’s title tile, although I change its exact location.
Once I’m satisfied, I save the file (Note: always save the highest resolution .png version possible to your computer).
At this point, you can upload the file to your favorite printing source. I normally send it to the Project Life app because I order a printed batch of 12 x 12 sheets at once and I include these title pages with other pages I’ve created within the app.
Once I’ve ordered the physical pages, I cover them with page protectors like these and snap them into an album.
Easy, right? Do some story-telling about this year in just a few minutes, then include a link to a quick Instagram post of your project in the comments below to share!
- 12″ x 12″ Page protectors (Currently experimenting with different lines.)
- 12″ x 12″ binder album (I have a number of different styles, currently, but I like how simple this one is).
- VSCO app
- Project Life app
- Canva account