Technology has revolutionized our use of paper. In today’s world, we have more choices than ever to end our reliance on parchment and turn to electronic sources. The digital world now offers electronic newspapers, books, and mail. Some observers argue that paper will eventually be replaced by its electronic counterpart. Others contend that there is still value to having tangible paper products.
Today, scrapbooking also comes in a digital form. Which form of scrapbooking is preferred? In this article, we will target some key questions to help scrapbookers decide between digital and traditional scrapbooking.
What is the difference between digital scrapbooking verses traditional scrapbooking?
Scrapbooking, in general, is the art of preserving photographic memories. Unlike a photo album, a scrapbook album adds color, background, themes, journaling, and embellishments to the displayed photographs. Traditional scrapbooking uses physical objects to create the memory album. Taking their printed photos, traditional scrapbookers use adhesives to fasten down the picture along with embellishments to cardstock. Digital scrapbooking, also known as digi scrapbooking, starts on the computer. The digi scrapbooker uses photo editing software to add clipart and templates to their digital photo.
How does a digital scrapbook album differ from a traditional album?
A traditional scrapbook is a physical book of pages, each one created by hand and then added to the album. Digital scrapbooks come in two forms. Some digital scrapbooks are simply images which must be viewed on a computer. In other cases, the digital pages are printed out in book form.
Which type of scrapbooking is more expensive?
As with any hobby, scrapbooking can be as expensive or inexpensive as you choose to make it. I have often heard that digital scrapbooking is more affordable. This depends on whether the digi scrapbooker intends to print the album. If the album will be showcased online electronically, then digital scrapbooking is cheaper. Otherwise, my research shows that digital scrapbooking has a higher start-up cost and that the cost-per-album is comparable to traditional scrapbooks, but not actually cheaper.
This answer is highly dependent upon the individual scrapbooker. There is a “learning curve” for both types of scrapbooking.
Computer savviness is certainly helpful for digi scrapbookers who will need to navigate photo editing software. Although some software is very point-and-click, professional programs such as Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 are very complicated. If the scrapbooker does not understand the technology, many hours of viewing online tutorials may be required. If the digi scrapbooker is relying mostly on premade templates; however, the process is very quick. Just drag and click!
Traditional scrapbooks seems more intuitive – at first. After all, most people learn how to use scissors and tape during their childhood. Nevertheless, some learning is required here too. It can take a long time if the scrapbooker wants to incorporate scrapbooking techniques such as stamping, embossing, or paper layering. The digital learning process comes with an “undo” button. Unfortunately, learning how to scrapbook with your hands can sometimes lead to wasted materials.
Which type of scrapbooking offers more flexibility?
If a person can master the technology skills required for it, digital scrapbooking offers more flexibility. The internet is much wider than any craft store. Therefore, the digi scrapbooker will have more opportunities to find unique backgrounds, fonts, and clipart to showcase their photos.
Which type of scrapbooking preserves photographs longer?
With digital scrapbooking, it is easy for photos to disappear in the blink of an eye. One little computer glitch, a power surge, or a computer virus can quickly wipe out photos forever. That’s why it’s very important for digi scrapbookers to make numerous backups of their work.
Traditional scrapbook albums are threatened by the elements. Despite our advancements in acid-free products, paper will deteriorate over time. Paper is fragile and can be easily destroyed by flooding, fire, or a tornado. Traditional scrapbookers must keep their albums in safe places and hope that they will continue to be unharmed.
Both traditional and digital scrapbooking offer the means to preserve memories and make them last a lifetime. Although we can argue the advantages and disadvantages to each form, sometimes it just comes down to a matter of opinion. There will be those who favor the flexibility of the digital print and those who love having something completely unique and handmade to hold.
Jennifer Neumann is a traditional scrapbooker and the owner of Pages for the Ages Scrapbooking LLC. Jennifer posts weekly YouTube tutorials on scrapbooking and her business sells handmade scrapbook layouts. Check out her website at: http://www.pages4theages.com