The visual triangle

When you have three spots on your page that have something in common and that stand
out, they catch the viewer’s eye. The viewer’s mind looks for things that stand out. Check out these idea for making visual triangles: 4 ways to make visual triangles on your scrapbook pages from Doris Sander.

Why triangle rather than square?

  • Odd numbers are more interesting to the eye than even numbers. An odd number of objects can be arranged both symmetrically and asymmetrically. Three is the odd number that is most frequently used in all kinds of design. Just for a start, look for it in architecture, home decor, and floral design.
  • The triangle makes a path that will go through your focal point rather than around it. You want your viewer to enter into your design not circle around the outside of it.

Don’t stop with one triangle

You can include more than one visual triangle in your design and we’ve got ideas below.

Hug by Debbie Hodge | Supplies: Happygram Papers, Happygram Elements by One Little Bird; Artplay Palette Woodland by Anna Aspnes; Whimsy Borderlines by Andrea Victoria; Blackout, Mathilde fonts


Doris Sander says, “The visual triangle is my go-to method for balancing my pages.  I like to make visual triangles based on color and call it the ‘color dance.'”

“I think the key to good visual triangles is subtlety.  On “Fleeting,” I count at least four visual triangles based on color, but, really, the only obvious one is in yellow with the butterfly stencil page, scattered sequin flowers, and punched butterfly.  

The other visual triangles aren’t as easy to spot, but using them has helped me balance my color scheme across the page. They are triangles of color:

  • grey (silver title, grey bow, and the sky in the photo)
  • green (tickets, vintage manilla graphic under the photo, and the machine stitching on the buttom tab)
  • pink ones (random splotch on the butterfly paper, label sticker in vellum pocket, and pink hues in the photo)
Fleeting by Doris Sander | Supplies: cardstock – Bazzill, ribbon – May Arts, alpha stickers – Pink Paislee, stencil – JBS Mercantile, mists – Jenni Bowlin for Ranger, label sticker – My Mind’s Eye, punch – Jenni Bowlin for Fiskars, perforated paper – Jenni Bowlin Studio, tab – Evalicious, lined paper, manilla envelope – vintage, other – vellum pocket, sequins, staples

Marie-Pierre Capistran  says, “This is the story of how I felt when I saw the first snow falling this year and of what I did with my kids.”

See these triangles:

  • three photos with a hint of red in every photo
  • three embellishments clusters, each with blue, grey chipboard, and white snowflakes
First snow by Marie-Pierre Capistran | Supplies: Patterned Paper: Basic Grey; Letters: American Crafts Thickers, Me and My Big Ideas; Snowflakes: Su!, Buttons Galore, Maya Road, Making Memories; Token: Doodlebug; Stamps: SU!; Colouring tools: SU! Watercolour wonders

Kiki Kougioumtzi says, “This layout is about our pets,their character and the relationship they have.”

See these visual triangles:

  • 3 photos each with green background and white animals
  • 3 heart and star clusters,
  • banner + flower series at bottom right + embellishment series below journaling.
Our furry friends by Kiki Kougioumtzi|Supplies:Paterned paper:Echo Park;Alphas:Echo Park,Webster’s Pages;Chipboard embellishments:My Mind’s Eye,Crate Paper,Advantus Grungeboard;Other:Ink Colorbox,charm,brads.

Amanda Jones   says, “This page documents my son’s school photo at the age of nine.”

See these visual triangles:

  • 3 small red stars
  • 3 chipboard bursts
  • 3 spots of red and white patterned washi tape / paper
  • 3 spots of swirled twine 
9 by Amanda Jones | Supplies:
Kits – Jenni Bowlin Studio, November; Stamp, feather, chipboard, rhinestone stars, stickers – Jenni Bowlin Studio; Washi Tape – Queen & Co; Spray ink – Studio Calico; Distress ink and stain – Ranger; Other – paper bag, twine, vintage paper

Barb Brookbank says, “This layout is about my grandson being bundled up and playing hockey for the first time.”

See the visual triangles:

  • 3 photos
  • 3 snowflake stamps clusters
  • 3 spots of journaling
All-Star by Barb Brookbank | Supplies: First Snowfall by Julie Mead, Time Capsule by One Little Bird, All About Me by Amanda Taylor, Font: DJB Tia Print by Darcy Baldwin

Brenda Becknell says, ” My grandson is such a happy boy. I love to get photos of his sweet smile.”

See these visual triangles:

  • blue (circle of paper at top, polka dot papers, airplane
  • green (sticker in title, polka dot paper behind photos, green alphas at bottom right)
  • 3 embellishment + word clusters (title on cloud, “5 months” at bottom right, “remember these days” at left)
Happy Little Boy by Brenda Becknell – Patterned Paper: K&Co., Echo Park; Stickers: Echo Park; Cardstock: Paper Studio: Black fine tip marker: Copic

Sue Althouse  says, ” This page is about our grown son playing softball.”

To guide the eye around the page, visual triangles are incorporated in five different ways that feature color, pattern, shape and texture.

  • 3 black buttons
  • 3 white circle clusters
  • 3 floral strips
  • 3 yellow chevron strips
  • 3 polka-dot circles
Hit, Catch, Throw by Sue Althouse | Supplies: Cardstock: Bazzill; Patterned Paper: American Crafts, Pebbles; Scalloped Border Punch: Fiskars; Alphabet: Jillibean Soup; Date Stamp: American Crafts; Ink: Hero Arts, Jenni Bowlin; Buttons: My Mind’s Eye; Floss: We Are Memory Keepers; Cloud Punch: Fiskars; Circle Puches/Dies: EK Success, Creative Memories, Spellbinders

Amy Kingsford says, “This page is about a fun day trip that my husband I took this past fall.”

“I’ve used a variety of visual triangles to keep the eye moving  and unite the entire canvas even though a strong division is created by the stark white strip with journaling on the right side.”

See these visual triangles:

  • 3 spots of deep purple (leaf at top left, shadows in photo, washi tape)
  • greys (cluster bleeding off top right, pattern paper block behind photos, grey flower in cluster at bottom right)
  • 3 primary groupings (tag + button grouping at top right, 3 photos creating the focal point, photo cluster at bottom right)
Fall Getaway by Amy Kingsford | Supplies : Sahlin Studio: Autumn Frost Papers, Autumn Frost Elements, Wooden Button Alpha,
Retro Mod, Fairest of Them All, Vintage Carousel (with Jenn Barrette); Amy Kingsford: SYS 2012 Freebie-Template A .

Jennifer Matott  says, “A friend of mine takes professional photos and I saw this one she took of a friend’s daughter and knew since I don’t have girls, that I wanted to use this one!”

See the visual triangles here:

  • 3 floral clusters, each with a red flowers and yellow leaves
  • 3 swirls of pearls
Sweet Anabelle by Jennifer Matott | Supplies: Prima: Patterned Papers (Welcome to Paris), Flowers and leaves, Pearls, Wooden buttons; Wilton: Doily

Adriana Puckett  says, “This playful layout showcases pictures from an afternoon where my husband took our daughters out to fly their new dragon kite in our front field.”

“There are many visual triangles here – the strongest are the three cluster groups defined by the chevron paper, flags, and wooden birds. There is also a visual triangle of the three small photos in the upper left-hand corner.”

Up, Up, & Away by Adriana Puckett | Supplies: Patterned paper and sticker: Echo Park Everyday Eclectic; Flags: The Girls’ Paperie; Title cut from cameo and design purchased from Silhouette store; Ink: Ranger Distress Ink; Wooden Birds: Maya road; Design inspiration from Pagemaps Sketch.


Adryane Driscoll says, “This is a story about a day spend exploring the park.”

See these triangles:

  • the main triangle is of the three photos
  • critter + butterfly brushwork
  • 3 small spots of red (ladybugs and the splash)
Explore by Adryane Driscoll I Supplies: Anna Aspnes: ArtPlay Gather Paperie, ArtPlay Tapestry, ArtPlay Palette No.8, WaterColor FotoBlendz No.1, WoodLand Animals No.1, Magic Sprinklez no.2, ArtPlay Retro Holiday, ArtPlay Solids Girl Craze, WoodShop Alpha&Number Set No.1, ArtPlay Palette Zombie, ArtPlay Palette Jardinier, ArtPlay Scientist BrushSet , and Gold Leaves No.1; SahlinStudio: Sweet Storytelling; Dutch Dots: Colorful Fall