Basic Kit Must Haves?

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What pretty papers! Unfortunately, the lines (horizontal) are the exactly type of texture that won't print well, so they are a perfect example of what I can't use (sorry!!). That said, I know I'm not the market for your papers - though if you ever want to branch out into hybrid-usuable supplies or into items planners could use, let me know & I can critique &/or test print things for you. But from a strictly artistic view, I adore seeing things like this. I love seeing computer things made "real" even though I will never use them.

And I'm so sorry you're allergic to flowers, but it makes sense that you'd avoid them even digitally!

Sarah, thanks for the compliment! It's good information for me to know that the textures don't print well. I keep non-textured versions of all the patterned papers, so I can start including those in my offerings too. I'd actually like to branch out into planners and traveler's notebook inserts once I'm a bit more adjusted to scrapbook designing. I figured that I would use a lot of the patterns I'd already made for scrapbook paper and adapt them for other mediums. So, critique from a hybrid scrapper like you would be super helpful.

I'd be happy to help! I love my TN's, though I only use them for notes rather than scrapping (though I love seeing what other scrappers do with them). I also adore planner bits, though I use them for scrapping rather than planning. They make great filler & journal cards as well as word art/word strips & that's how I use them. I do use planners but tend to plan in a very boring manner - lists with no embellishments. I barely get any scrapping done so there's no way I'd have time to decorate something I'd just use as a to do list!! Right now planning is HUGE so I think it's worth any digi designer looking into it. If you're interested, take a look at The Reset Girl's site. I love her style (all the fabulous retro pattern ladies - swoon) & she & her fans are hard-core planners so you can get a feel for what people like & use.

I don't have a lot of time right now (I'm supposed to be working on my December Daily - have I done anything? no. have I even done anything Christmassy I can document other than decorating the tree? no. grrr) but I was just scanning through the texture overlays in the PS graphics & found one that is an example of something that does print well to give you an idea of what types of things work for printable graphics:

If you search graphics for overlays &/or for texture &/or templates (especially for paper) you'll see a huge variety of textures, many 3D & many distressed, spattered, worn, etc. The way I finally learned what to look for that would work for me was to scroll through things like this & if it looked like I would feel something if I touched it (bark, burlap, cardstock texture, cardboard, etc), I couldn't use it. If it looked flat (worn, spattered, etc), I could. I just thought if you ever have a minute, it might be an interesting designer challenge to look at these through hybrid eyes to get a feel not just for what you love & love working with, but what might work for the communities who scrap & plan & then print.

And I'm certainly not suggesting you, or any digi designer, never use texture or 3D elements again! I'm mostly pointing out (partly selfishly, I'll admit smiley ) that there's a wider audience for your designs than just digi scrappers if you're willing to add to your repertoire. Can you tell I'm on a mission to expand the understanding of hybrid scrapping/planning?! smiley

Thank you. I appreciate the time you took for this. I definitely want to make my designs useable to as wide an audience as possible, and it really doesn't take much extra time to add softer/less 3D types of overlays to my stock pile. My favorite thing is to explore different types of texture effects and see how it comes out against various backgrounds, so that's just playtime for me. I have to work on some embellishments this afternoon, but I'll see what else I might have in my overlay folders. (I make overlays for fun; it's kind of a problem, because I have far too many.)

Sarah, what about this type of overlay?

It's got a bit of depth, but I don't think I've quite mastered flat texture. Color tested on one of the swatches from the upcoming blog train.


Rose - that's perfect & is exactly the type of thing I consider "flat" (no shadows to make something look dimensional like embossed, cardstock, etc). I love that texture (a lot!) & would print perfectly. Thanks so much for being willing to play around with different textures - it's really fun seeing what you come up with!

Great! Thanks, I can make a set of papers with this today then and put some of them in my freebie for the blog train. smiley

Sounds great, Rose - I can't wait to see them!!

Looks like I'm going to miss the BT this month. smiley But I'll get those papers up in the Commons after the holidays!

I'm sorry you'll miss the BT, Rose, but I look forward to seeing what you've done with the papers!

I'm not a hybrid scrapper, but I am also not really a kit scrapper...most of my LOs stretch across a dozen different kits and/or element/paper packs...

On a side note far as labeling goes...for someone like me who is NOT a kit scrapper I really appreciate streamlined naming of files. I like elements to have the name of the item in it... like rmartin_youcandoit_heart.png or rmartin_youcandoit_stitch.png or rmartin_youcandoit_tag.png etc...I see designers who will name things like rmartin_youcandoit_element01.png or rmartin_youcandoit_flwr01.png(notice it's not completely spelled out) and so on...which makes it hard for me to search all of my many gigs of files for that perfect piece for my LO. I have recently started going through new kits I acquire and renaming files to suit my search needs but it gets very bothersome and time consuming at times...but I'm willing to do if I have to, because it makes my scrapping time more streamlined. Just throwing that out there as something to think about...

I really wish the digital community could maybe come up with a "universal" guideline for naming files in general, then it would make categorizing and using the files easier.

I don't like a kit to have too many things. I want four coordinating papers, two textured solids, two prints, a frame, a border of some sort and maybe two or three interesting elements.

Thanks, Rachel. I agree about the the filenaming issue. Every site I upload on seems to have their own guidelines/system for naming files. It's important for a lot of those computerized systems to have the names be as short as possible, so that might be part of why the names are being shortened, but this is also time consuming for me as a designer because I have to re-name my files 3 or 4 times for the places I upload to. But that said, there's a couple of file renaming utilities online that you might look into. Then you could batch rename those kits how you want, if it's only for personal use, and it take less time than doing it manually.

Thanks, Tina!

Rachel - THANK YOU for mentioning my biggest digi pet peeve!! I've been thinking about creating a topic about pet peeves in the chat forum so I could vent about exactly this!

I do exactly what you do, use what works for the layout rather than sticking with a kit & I think many designers have no clue that people break up kits the way we do. It drives me absolutely batty that I have to spend so much time renaming items because they aren't labeled as to designer &/or kit. And graphic designers on Creative Market & other digital markets are even worse than scrapbook designers. Most things I've downloaded from them have no designer name or package/kit name anywhere, even on the folder. I want to know who made what I'm using!

This is all extra frustrating because there is an unofficial format for naming items (it's in use at most of the major digi srapping shops) but it isn't as wide spread as I wish it were. Even here on PS, not every item has a kit name attached to it. smiley Perhaps we should start a naming movement, across all shops, designers, & blog trains!! And I agree with your format. Every item in a kit should be named:

designername-kitname-typeofitemifnecessary-itemname-numberordescriptionofitemifneccessary or

So if I made something, say a a pack of papers for a kit called Brrr (about how cold it is), I'd label one of the papers from that kit, Brrr Patterned Papers, scp-brrrpp-frostypp.jpg OR scp-brrr-frostypp.jpg. Either would tell me who made it, what kit it is from, & the name of the item.

Here are some actual examples from a kit I downloaded today:

It's great to find out I'm not alone in this peeve - & thanks for letting me rant! It took the edge off how cold it is, even inside. I really wish this Arctic Vortex would go home!!!

LOL you guys, this is a little off topic now.

I sell on My Memories and they MAKE US take our names off the items in a kit, so some of this really isn't just the designers. If we sell in multiple places, each place can have their own system for naming. If I'm left to myself all my items are RBF_(date/kit title)_itemname_number, but as of this very moment I've spent two days naming/renaming/re-zipping my own darn files to upload different places.

Anyway, if you ever want anything of mine, download it either from my Creative Market shop or directly from my website because I can name those files how I want.

Rose you are very talented I would not change allot you being different from the rest people will love that your papers are gorgeous you would be a big hit in the psp tagging community with you papers .. ... best of luck ...

Thanks, Bev! Is tagging still a thing? Are there groups? I think that was one of the first things I was involved in, way back in 03-04.

Rose ... yes they and signature tags are still around and very popular they even have tube companies that sells artist art as tubes mostly pinups and they sell scrap kits tagger size sample = Click Here and there is artist that has their own shops and sells tubes and they use lots of scrapkits taggers size and digital size allot but I miss the old days ..

I started in psp around 2001 and you had to build and make your own tag backgrounds and the main art/ tubes and all accent tubes I joined here to learn more about digital scrapbooking and photoshop I have both now ... but I mostly post what I learn to make I found a passion not sure if I am any good but I am having fun ...with flair buttons and papers, & overlays love making my own textures too I think I like making the textures more then the papers you can turn a picture of spaghetti and make a awesome texture with brushes, color, layers blend , and the warp and Distortion tools can not get the knack of the clone tool yet with the ps short codes & ps different then the psp clone it is rough for me I have one hand that is functional ps relies on allof on shortcodes even the tutorials relies on them that is the only thing I do not like about ps so far it takes me longer then in psp but I am working on it smiley

I belong to a few groups just private message me and I can send links if you are interested

What I am finding is that my eye hasn't changed from what I liked in physical supplies. I love a textured paper. Not overwhelming, but something to give the paper some character. I'm much more likely to used textured solids or papers with prints that read as neutral. I've never been able to use big bold patterns in paper - I just don't seem to know what to do with them. I'm an alphas addict in every respect. I've got more fonts than one human being could ever use and I spend a ridiculous amount of time deciding what my texts and titles will be made from.

Thanks, Karen.

Thanks, Bev! I love making textures. Most of my stuff is based around texture. I kinda miss the old days too.

It's so interesting to read what each person feels is "essential". Just today I had a woman tell me that my kits are missing lots of essentials, but when I asked her to be specific she wanted a lot of things that are not really my style (and she said I should study what "top" designers are doing...) There is a problem with that, though. There's a huge difference between Manu Designs and Sahin Designs (as an example), and hundreds of other designers fall somewhere between the two... so it can be frustrating when you want to express your own creativity but also make a little money with sales... LOL! Finding your audience is the biggest chore, I think.

I agree, Marcy! It's been very interesting having this thread just to hear what people think about it. I know that personally I'm not a fan of realistic styles like a lot of people mentioned, but I have expanded what I put in my kits based on some of the other feedback here.

The thing with me is, I don't know who the "big" designers are. I have some designers I follow because I like their style, and I look a lot on Pinterest, but I haven't been consistently part of a scrap community before so I don't know who is "big."

I -have- been around the design and graphic resources world long enough to see several waves of "big name" people come and go, so I focus more on consistently putting out quality designs in a variety of styles, because things come in waves.

Hello! I think all of you are right! there are maybe some "basic rules" but as designers it is up to us to make the artwork we like. It would be different if you want to sell it: then it's true that you have to adapt yourself to the "must have"... About these must have, you already told many of them. As a designer and "layout maker" my "must have" are the following:

-Solid papers (because I think peope can add their own textures if desired) though sometimes I use watercolor
-Patterned papers. As Holly said, it is important to use basic patterns (dots, chevron, etc.) and reserve other patterns with the kit theme, eg. I made a "love-related" mini kit which has dots and stripes but also themed-patterns like "xoxo" patterns.
-Buttons or flairs
-Bows and or stitches
-Some flowers and leaves
-Frames and Journal cards, Word Art
-Other journaling stuff (masks, tags, labels, scatter...)
-Non-themed elements
-Themed elements
And the rest is up to you...

Hope to have been of aid!

An example:

We all have our own essentials for layouts I think ... I love doing all sorts of layouts : realistic, c&s, white space, art journaling ... I don't have a style in particular.
I like that the kit I use is different from others either with the theme or the colors or the items ... I like each of my page to be different !

In my designs, my basics are :
- papers : layered and mixed (I don't know how to call them ... I like to mix patterns, solids and pictures in a same paper) and simple ones (one color)
- 2 or 3 flowers
- 2 or 3 leaves
- ribbon and bow or stitches
- tags or labels
- staples, buttons and such
- 1 or 2 frames
- some glitters, doodles or accents
- 1 or 2 wordarts
- specific elements matching the theme of the kit

When I create items for my Etsy shop I sometimes make just paper pack bundles and other times I include everything I think someone might want in a kit. For instance, in a baseball kit I did, I had several papers including plain and themed, buttons, ribbons, elements for everything you could think of that related to baseball, word stickers like Home Run and T-Ball, and then I included baseball cards with the photo area cut out so people could make their own baseball cards of their kids. At other times if I'm making a scrapbook pack that doubles as a pack people can use to print out items for a party, I try to create things I think people will want in that party pack, like large decorations that can hang on walls. I found this thread interesting to read through smiley It gives me good insight.

Thank you, everyone, for your great ideas. I am working on a formula for what to put in my different size kits. I appreciate all of the honest opinions.

thank you for all of your replies. They have been helpful.

I dug through my old mini kits. In general I have anywhere from 3-7 or so papers.
- at least 1 solid (solid can be a very tiny pattern that appears to be nearly solid)
- 1 floral
- 1 geometric
- 1 large pattern
- 1 wood paper
- 1 themed paper

Along with that, I include...
- at least one light paper to off set any dark/vibrant colors in the palette/kit
- Only one or two multi-colored papers (generally a themed paper or the floral paper...but it varies)
- The remainder of the papers tend to be two tone

For elements, I always have...
- a frame (paper, real, stamped, ephemera, etc. depending on the theme)
- a flower (fabric, felt, Kraft, real/dried, doodled, paint, etc. depending on the theme)
- a leaf (generally matches the style of the flower)
- a fastener (staple, stitch, bead, button, etc.)
- Ephemera of some kind (if it suits)
- a piece of word-art/tag to journal on
- 1 or 2 themed elements

Though all of that can be thrown out the window if I love a theme and go to town and create FAR too much (which I'm known for as far as kits in general) or if it feels like other things would work better for the mini. It's something that tends to come to me as I'm creating the kit.

That said, I tend to enjoy kits that have extracted/realistic items. So, with you not enjoying that style, my best advice is to look at mini kits and kits in general of the style that you love. Write down the items included. Before too long you'll see some commonalities.

Also, if you haven't already, you'll develop your own style. I couldn't agree with Marcy Coate more. Finding your audience...the people who love your style will make your job so much easier than attempting to change your style. Dabbling, experimenting, and changing your style slightly as you learn will happen...but I firmly believe that if you try to fundamentally change what you love to design it'll quickly become a job instead of something you love/look forward to doing. Just my thoughts though...